PLANTATION, Fla. – Alleged comments of Holocaust denial inside a South Florida barbershop has led to outrage on social media.
The owner of Kiko’s Barber Shop flat out denies that one of his barbers is a Holocaust denier.
“I didn’t sleep. I’m offended by that, that this guy is saying that about us,” Kiko Lopez said. “We take care of people.”
The customer who said he heard those comments spoke to Local 10 News.
“The conversation literally went from football to this, Holocaust denial,” Ivan Reich said.
Reich said he was in mid-haircut when the barbershop discussion suddenly changed.
“I’ve had family, I’ve had people very close to me, family, who were both survivors and who were killed, and he looks at me in a stone-cold stare and says, ‘Too bad for you.’”
With no witnesses corroborating either side of the story, the truth of what happened Tuesday at Kiko’s Barber Shop may never be known.
There is no denying the fallout, however, once Reich posted his experience on Facebook and Yelp.
With the already heightened fear of rising antisemitism stoked, a longtime local business is feeling the backlash.
“I apologized to him,” Lopez said. “I said that I know my employees would never do that.”
Lopez also apologized on social media for a customer’s discomfort, but denied Reich’s story and a chance to talk face to face. The police were called on Reich when he tried.
“I’d like acknowledgement of what occurred,” Reich said. “And I’d like the employee to be reprimanded or terminated, to be honest with you.”
Reich contacted the Anti-Defamation League, which has since gotten involved. The organization said it is especially concerned about what happened on social media as a result of this situation, with a rise in hate speech and trolling.