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Bankers Boycott Mario Batali After Hitler Comparison (SLIDESHOW)

First Posted: 11/09/11 03:42 PM ET   Updated: 01/09/12 05:12 AM ET

Celebrity chef Mario Batali compared bankers to some of history's worst dictators Tuesday at a panel discussing who should be 2011 Time's Person Of The Year.

According to Forbes, here's Batali's rant verbatim, per Time's own transcript of the event:

"I would have to say that who has had the largest effect on the whole planet without us really paying attention across the board and everywhere is the entire banking industry and their disregard for the people that they’re supposed to be working for...So the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys...They're not heroes, but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating."

Batali tweeted that he was misquoted (a claim that Forbes reporter Jeff Bercovici vehemently denies, saying it's all on tape) but it appears the damage may be done.

Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton, who's now referring to the story as #Bataligate, has been contacted by bankers saying they're going to #BoycottBatali restaurants, canceling all their reservations to Del Posto and Babbo.

And however you feel about Batali's comments or the bankers' (over?)reaction, the fallout on Twitter has been entertaining. A sampling below. (Even Anthony Bourdain got in on the action!)

[VIA Eater]

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Filed by Christopher Mathias  |