WASHINGTON — Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, on Oct. 24 criticized a recently released video of an inebriated San Francisco tour guide making an expletive-laden, racist rant during a sightseeing tour of the city.
“I am deeply disturbed by a video circulated this week that shows an intoxicated City Sightseeing tour guide making racist remarks about San Francisco’s Chinatown during an official bus tour,” Chu said in a statement. “Even more alarming is the fact that the tour guide receives applause for her offensive rant.
“San Francisco’s Chinatown contributes to California’s rich vibrancy and diversity, and it is disappointing to see this type of xenophobic rhetoric in this day and age. Although the tour guide and company have since apologized for the incident, more must be done to ensure that there is greater cultural sensitivity moving forward.”
The tirade included complaints about “little hair salons where no one in there knows how to speak English” and about markets that sell live food. “When you come to America, you gotta assimilate a little bit, okay?” the tour guide said. “And here in America we don’t eat turtles and frogs.” She also said, “F— Chinatown. Go Giants.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee commented, “I do think that they have to demonstrate that they are going to train their employees better. Tourism is a critical thing for this city … It was pretty disgusting to hear this ranting from that individual, and I join in the effort to make sure the company does all they can to correct it and to also make assurances that this won’t happen again.”
Christian Watts, the chief executive of City Sightseeing San Francisco, said in a statement, “Comments made by this former employee on her last day of employment are absolutely not a representation of how much we love and support Chinatown, and every other community in San Francisco.”
The tour guide, who did not identify herself, told reporters that she was not drunk and that “I intended to do it as a satirical comedic portion of the tour.”
She also said that she called San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu to explain, “I thought that I could bend the rules. I thought that I could be a little outrageous, and it was something that went way too far.”