James Tahhan sparked outrage after he was caught on camera pulling his eyes to the side in a pejorative sign towards Koreans.
The Venezuelan chef later apologized to the Asian community on Twitter, saying he had shown a ‘lack of sensitivity’.
Wearing a Mexico shirt, the chef was one of seven guests on morning show Un Nuevo Dia who were celebrating their team’s progress into the last 16 thanks to South Korea’s stunning win.
James Tahhan (centre) sparked outrage after he was caught on camera making pulling his eyes to the side in a pejorative sign towards Koreans
— Jimmy Sanchez (@JimmyJam99) June 27, 2018
In the clip, widely shared on Twitter, the woman on his right seemed to imitate the offensive gesture after watching the chef make it for several seconds.
Tahhan’s statement said: ‘During the celebration for Mexico’s qualification, I made a mistake and made an inappropriate and insensitive gesture towards the Asian community.
‘It was a lack of sensitivity on my part. I admit that I did something wrong and wanted to apologize to anyone who was offended by it.
‘The World Cup is a great opportunity to bring together friends, strangers, families and entire countries, and not to divide our communities.’
Viewers slammed him on Twitter, with one telling the network: ‘Explain what chef James was doing when he mocked the Korean people this morning? Racism is OK on your shows?’
Another said: ‘Some Spanish speaking host on Telemundo was pulling on his eyes after the Korea game……. when will people stop being ignorant?’
South Korea players celebrate after an injury-time goal put them ahead against Germany, in a 2-0 win which sent Mexico through despite their defeat to Sweden on Wednesday
Another comment said: ‘In a world that desperately demands respect for our Latinos, [these] pretentious clowns are misrepresenting and entire community with this racist remark.’
And Miguel Hernandez wrote: ‘Whoever this guy is on the left needs to get fired ASAP for being a racist on air.’
Germany’s failure to beat South Korea meant Mexico reached the knockout round of the World Cup despite their 3-0 defeat to Sweden on Wednesday.
Earlier in the tournament Diego Maradona came under fire for making a similar gesture while he watched his former side Argentina play South Korea.
The BBC’s Jacqui Oatley said: ‘Some South Korea fans just shouted “Diego” and he obliged with a smile, kiss and wave.
‘Then pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture. All of us who saw it are stunned.’
Mexico fans were also charged by FIFA after they were heard using an anti-gay slur during their opening fixture against Germany.
This content was originally published here.