Starting in 2017, the #MeToo era saw the fall of notable restaurant figures, including Ken Friedman, the former partner/owner of the shuttered Hearth & Hound in Hollywood. Though accused individuals often lay low, restaurants must figure out how to handle them when they come in as diners.
The Hollywood Reporter took a small sample of opinions to determine the etiquette for these often awkward or even tense situations. At Eleven City Diner, two women witnessed John Lasseter enter the premises. Lasseter stepped down from his post as chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar in late-2017, after he was accused of inappropriately touching women. Comedian Kathy Griffin complained to her Polo Lounge server after former CBS head Les Moonves was seated at a nearby table and said, “I don’t like sitting next to rapists.”
It’s a tricky position for restaurant owners and staff, who are concerned about the guest experience. Celebrity sightings are common in Los Angeles, yet restaurants might find that patrons who have been accused of misconduct can be a distraction in the dining room. Daniel Buccino, director of the Johns Hopkins Civility Initiative, advises that these individuals to stay home, and not put restaurants in this awkward position.
Tensions run high when a prominent figure is publicly accused of misconduct, which was on full-display when a diner at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort allegedly approached Harvey Weinstein, yelled, and punched the disgraced film producer in the face, according to TMZ.