BOISE, Idaho — Last summer, Brad Breakell painted his face black and posed inside a cardboard cutout of a shark’s head to film an ad for his Boise restaurant, PizzalChik. He was accused of donning “blackface,” took the video down and apologized.
In January, Breakell posted a video to PizzalChik’s Facebook page to promote a Mexican-style menu. This weekend, PizzalChik’s Facebook, Yelp and Google Reviews blew up again with accusations of racism, and Breakell again removed a video.
Breakell said he has no idea why the weeks-old video suddenly became the center of reinvigorated controversy. He said the blowback began Saturday night. By Sunday, PizzalChik’s Facebook posts were inundated with angry comments. By Monday, there were more than a dozen one-star reviews of the restaurant on Yelp, each referencing the Facebook post.
The video has also been reposted by Boiseans like Magy Chavez, who are calling for accountability.
“I’m not trying to make him lose business, I just want (other people) to be able to make informed decisions about where they’re spending their money,” Chavez said.
Chavez’s post, which includes a copy of the video, had been viewed more than 5,000 times as of Monday afternoon.
In the video, Breakell plays the part of “Billy Burrito,” dressed in a sombrero and poncho. He dons sunglasses, drawn-on eyebrows and mustache, and appears to have darkened his face with brown makeup. Speaking in an exaggerated Spanish accent, Breakell runs through the menu before giving a “shoutout to Magy” from Lenny the landscaper, another of Breakell’s characters that has drawn accusations of racist stereotyping.
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