After backlash, Alton Brown apologizes for 'flippant' Holocaust tweets

His followers were quick to call him out for the insensitivity of the comparison he made.
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It has been an contentious few days for Brown on Twitter. Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Discovery Inc.
/ Source: TODAY

Food Network star Alton Brown apologized on Wednesday morning for making a "flippant" reference to the Holocaust on Twitter in what he said was an attempt to convey how "deeply frightened" he is by the current political climate.

"I apologize for the flippant reference I made to the Holocaust in my tweet last night. It was not a reference I made for humorous effect but rather to reflect how deeply frightened I am for our country. It was a very poor use of judgement and in poor taste," the 58-year-old TV host tweeted.

The Food Network did not immediately respond to TODAY Food's request for comment.

On Tuesday night, Brown posted two tweets that drew backlash from some of his 4.5 million followers.

"Do you think the camp uniforms will be striped, like the ones at Auschwitz or will plaid be in vogue?" he said, according to a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet taken by TODAY.

Alton Brown said his tweets were "flippant" and has since deleted them.@altonbrown/Twitter

When someone replied that it will depend on "who you voted for," Brown replied, "I have no gold fillings,' referencing the Nazi practice of yanking gold teeth from Holocaust victims.

In the second tweet, which also since been deleted, Brown wondered whether people will be put into concentration camps.

"So, when they move us to the camps, do you think they'll let us choose the state? I'm going to ask for Kansas because the sky is so gorgeous there...over the wheat," he wrote.

Brown deleted the offending tweets and apologized.@altonbrown/Twitter

Brown's comments drew backlash from some of his followers, who asked him to reconsider what he tweeted.

"STOP. Alton, I'm a fan, but stop. Not joke fodder, please. We can critique the administration and the absolutely f----d up coup that's happening without making glib Holocaust jokes," one follower responded.

"If you have to dig in other people's graveyards for references of pain to relate your discomfort to an oppression you've never really known by a longshot, just keep your mouth shut and think deeper before you speak," food writer Michael Twitty wrote in response to Brown.

While some fans defended Brown's right to free speech, he was also praised for admitting his words were in poor taste.

"This is what an honest apology looks like. It's been a while since we've seen one, so I thought I'd point it out. Everyone screws up," one fan wrote. "Good people apologize for it. I've always thought you were a good man, that opinion hasn't changed. Honestly apologizing only proves it more."

It has been an contentious few days for Brown on Twitter. On Nov. 9, he spoke out against Donald Trump and the Republican party in a series of tweets that have since been deleted, according to Eater.

"I have voted Republican most of my life. I consider myself a conservative. I want to believe there are still “very fine” people on both sides of the aisle but...if #GOP leaders don’t get their collective noses out of that man’s a--, we’re gonna have words," he wrote.

After some fans asked why Brown voted Republican, he clarified that he voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the presidential election. "It's time for decency and unity to trump tribalism, racism, and disinformation," he added.

The thread garnered a mixed bag of feedback from his fans, with some feeling let down by his past political choices, while others commended him for his candor.

In response to a fan who expressed their disappointment in him, he tweeted, "Frankly, you have no right to be disappointed in me. None whatsoever. I have used my own platform to speak my mind. You may dislike me, certainly but disappointment in me should be reserved for say...bad recipes."