Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson may have came out of the blocks a little too hot when he joined the bandwagon of haters calling out TikTok food critic Keith Lee for his controversial reviews of the Atlanta food scene.
“My daughter got me together,” said Johnson before adding his daughter Jicyra Johnson to his recent Instagram Live chat. “My daughter text me, like, my daughter hit me, like, ‘Listen, we Team Keith Lee over here.’ … You know, when your daughter get you together, yeah, you ain’t gon’ win that.”
The retired NFL player had slammed Lee earlier in the week on his and Shannon Sharpe’s YouTube series, “Nightcap With Uncle and Ocho.” During the Nov. 2 episode, Johnson said, “I don’t like the critiquing of our restaurants … talking bad about our got d**n businesses … [Do] you know how hard it is for us to get in the food industry and to have our own restaurant?”
The viral content creator had locals split about his evaluations after Lee ran into hurdles while trying to patronize multiple hotspots and some lesser-known restaurants during his recent food tour. Across social media, the former MMA fighter was lambasted with accusations of tearing down Black-owned establishments when he spoke about the lack of customer service he encountered. There was also an outpouring of support from fans who felt his criticism was constructive and addressed frustrations that many Atlantans have in common.
Lee issued a video response to the backlash noting that he had built a massive following by giving honest and relatable reviews of restaurants. He also cleared up misconceptions about his critiques, explaining that his platform is intended to be a resource. In a separate video, he also directly addressed Johnson.
“Your opinion is just as valuable as the next person’s opinion. But I do agree with you: It is hard to open a restaurant; it is hard to get the funding; it is hard to have people come in. I agree and am blessed enough to be a marketing platform for restaurants, completely free. To me, it seems you have no idea who I am, and again, that’s OK with me,” said the social influencer.
The Real Milk and Honey is among the establishments that left a bad taste in Lee’s mouth. After issuing a controversial response to his review, the restaurant updated their house rules and issued a public apology to the TikToker.
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