Tour guide’s racist Chinatown tirade sparks Lee’s ire

YouTube.comA woman on her last day of work for a tour bus company went off on Chinatown and its residents recently

YouTube.comA woman on her last day of work for a tour bus company went off on Chinatown and its residents recently

A tour guide who went on a racist tirade on her last day of work has drawn the ire of Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu, among others, after the event was posted on YouTube and went viral this week.

The video shows the guide on the top level of a tour bus with a microphone in one hand and a bottle in the other, although what is in the bottle is not clear.

Instead of showing off the gates of Chinatown and other local attractions in the neighborhood, she proceeds to slam everything about Chinatown and its residents – dropping numerous F-bombs along the way. The video ends with the guide getting the tourists to join along on a chant with her of “F— Chinatown, f— Chinatown.”

The tour guide, who says she is originally from Los Angeles, said Chinatown's residents should “assimilate a little bit, OK?” She also said Los Angeles' Chinatown is cleaner and nicer. The guide's identity is unknown at this time.

Mayor Ed Lee said the video was “disgusting” and that society should be past racism like this.

“My first thought is, we're over this. We're supposed to be over it,” Lee said, who noted that his father often recounted tales of the racism he encountered during his job as a cook in Seattle-area restaurants.

“We have generations of people who don't have the education and experience that we've gone through in our lifetimes,” he said. “They need to be educated … not just in school, [but] at homes, when parents talk to our kids.”

Of the tourists joining in on the chant and some can be heard laughing or clapping, Lee said he wasn't necessarily surprised.

“Sometimes that doesn't surprise me that they take it as a joke,” he said, noting that Asians in America have often been made into “caricatures we didn't appreciate.”

KTVU reported that Supervisor David Chiu wanted the tour company, City Sightseeing San Francisco, and the tour guide to come forward with an apology.

The company's CEO Christian Watts released a statement Thursday apologizing:

“I deeply apologize to the residents of Chinatown and San Francisco, for the conduct of a former employee.”

She continued: “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. Due to this unfortunate incident, we have added additional training processes to ensure that each tour is up to our rigorous standard.”

Mayor Lee said the company's apology was not enough.

“There's no way they can just say, 'Sorry,'” he said. “They have to demonstrate that they have to train their employees better.”

S.F. Examiner Staff Writer Chris Roberts contributed to this report.

Bay Area NewsEd LeeRacist tiradeTour guide

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Chelsea Hung, who owns Washington Bakery and Restaurant in Chinatown with her mother, said the restaurant is only making about 30 percent of pre-pandemic revenues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chinatown’s slow recovery has business owners fearing for the future

Lack of outside visitors threatens to push neighborhood into ‘downward spiral’

A worker sets up irrigation lines to water almond tree rootstocks along Road 36 in Tulare, Calif. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Gov. Gavin Newsom extends drought emergency to 41 California counties

Faith E. Pinho Los Angeles Times In a stark indication of California’s… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new stimulus plan on Monday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner file photo)
More Californians would get new $600 stimulus checks from the state under Newsom plan

Sophia Bollag The Sacramento Bee Two-thirds of Californians would get an extra… Continue reading

Most Read