Who is Michael Lofthouse? SF tech CEO's racist rant at Asian family has Internet calling him a 'piece of s**t'
The family was celebrating a birthday on the Fourth of July in a restaurant when suddenly they heard someone shouting offensive and racist slurs at them from the neighboring table
On July 6, a video of a man shouting profanities and racist comments towards an Asian family dining at a Carmel Valley, California restaurant went viral on Twitter.
"Trump is going to f**k you. You f*****s need to leave. F*****g Asian piece of s**t," he is heard saying on camera, as the family sings 'Happy Birthday'. A friend of the family uploaded the video of the stranger on the social media platform, hoping that his identity would come to light quickly, which it ultimately did. Twitterati and various news publications got to work and identified the man as Michael Lofthouse, British born CEO of San Fransico-based tech company, Solid8 LLC that was founded in 2017.
The video was recorded by Jordan Chan, who along with her family were having dinner at Lucia, a restaurant in Carmel Valley. They were celebrating her aunt's birthday on the Fourth of July when suddenly they heard someone shouting offensive and racist slurs towards them from the neighboring table. "Say it again, now, you're shy," said Chan in the video, after Lofthouse flipped her off. However, a Lucia employee was quick to intervene. "Get out, you are not allowed here. You do not talk to our guests like that. They are valued guests. Get out!" she said while the restaurant staff managed to kick Lofthouse out.
Lofthouse is the CEO of Solid8, a cloud computing company. Solid8's website describes the company as 'Silicon Valley Cloud Transformation Experts' and says it provides "IT solutions designed to reduce cost and improve performance with Cloud Contact Center, Communication, SDWAN & CyberSecurity." However, Lofthouse is not listed as the company's CEO.
The video garnered nearly 700,000 views since it was posted on Twitter and prompted a backlash from users, including actor Patton Oswalt who sarcastically commented, "Could everyone PLEASE stop sharing this video of Michael Lofthouse?" Adding on to his tweet, he identified Lofthouse, "He’s the founder & CEO of Solid8, a tech company based in San Francisco. If it goes viral it could hurt Michael Lofthouse and Solid8, his company. Let’s all be nice to Michael Lofthouse and Solid8." Users were quick to catch on to his approach and began retweeting the video.
"I was wondering who this racist piece of trash is - Thanks for letting me know its Michael Lofthouse of #Solid8 . I'm sure the partners, owners & employees are all very proud!" said a user in response to Oswalt's tweet."Wow so you are telling me that Michael Lofthouse FORMER CEO of Solid8 is a racist POS? Interesting.. indeed," added another. "So this aggressive bigot is Michael Lofthouse, founder and CEO of Solid8 in San Francisco? I hope his disgusting behavior doesn't redound to his disadvantage," one user tweeted. Many users also commended the ballsy server, who went straight up to Lofthouse and asked him to leave the restaurant. "I love that server. Good to see someone standing for what’s right. See? You don’t have to be my size to stand strong against bulls**t," a user said, appreciating the Lucia employee.
"Imagine being out with your family celebrating a birthday and this guy decides to flaunt his racism. Trump is enabling this behavior! His name is Michael Lofthouse. His company is Solid8. He hates Asians and says it a lot," a user concurred. "Nazi fascist Michael Lofthouse is scheduled to be deported. Sitting alone at the table — too bad, no friends. There are many closet racist Californians like him," another user said, stressing on the fact that Lofthouse hails from the UK. "Hoping Michael Lofthouse has more time to drink and rant when companies pull their jobs," a user wrote in a tweet. "Michael Lofthouse is Racist and Solid8 should shove it up his a**," said one user, while another added "When it comes to douchebaggery & racism, this guy is a Solid10. Congrats on ruining your career & dining options."
However, this isn't Lofthouse's first rodeo. In 2016, he was convicted of vandalism, charged with domestic battery and damage to a telephone/powerline. The last two charges were dismissed following a plea deal which resulted in Lofthouse being sentenced to two days in prison, three years of probation, community service and being issued a restraining order. As the video blew up over the internet and garnered views, users tracked down Lofthouse and Solid8, condemning his racist and xenophobic actions. Some have mistakenly directed their backlash towards Solid8 Consulting based in the UK. "We are currently receiving huge amounts of emails, calls and messages from people accusing us of having a CEO that is racist. This is a case of mistaken identity and we are in no way associated with the business in question," said Emma Jones, managing director and owner of Solid8 Consulting.
"I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family,” Lofthouse issued an apology via ABC 7. “I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.” He has now deleted his LinkedIn account, while his Twitter has been suspended and his Facebook profile has been removed.