A Gold Coast mother-of-two and TikToker has apologised after comments she made in a video during a recent trip to New York offended Jewish viewers.
Kat Clark, who has a following of 3.1 million on the video-sharing platform, shared a vlog of her family’s time in the US city, including footage of a group of Hasidic Jewish men wearing a shtreimel (a round fur hat).
“Why are so many people wearing these wigs?” Clark said over the clip.
A number of viewers were swift to point out that they weren’t wigs at all – with some going as far as to label Clark’s observation “ignorant” and “offensive”.
“This just feels like rich people ‘experiencing’ the everyday and it’s giving me a not great vibe,” one commented.
“She disrespected the entire borough from start to finish … Do you really think this is an appropriate way to talk about a community that you visiting as a tourist?” wrote another.
“This is so so so tone deaf omg,” a third said, while another person declared that Clark’s video “missed the mark”.
Clark acknowledged, in a video uploaded on the weekend, that “one of my vlogs I posted while in New York has really upset people and that’s what I want to talk to you about”.
“I’m sitting in New York airport and I post the vlog. And I always like to stay live on my vlog for the first 10 minutes to make sure that everything is going all good. And everything was sweet, so we jumped on the plane to LA, and that was a six-hour flight,” she said.
“On the plane, we actually had Wi-Fi … So I jumped on my Instagram Story and I put up a question box for people to ask me questions, and it was all going well, and then I got this question that said, ‘If I ever see you walking the streets of New York, I’m [going to] beat your ass like your ex [did]’. And I was like, ‘What? What have I done?’”
Clark, who has been candid about her experience as a survivor of domestic violence, added that the minute her family landed in LA, she checked her TikTok – where “so many people … were getting upset by my question [about the ‘wigs’], and accusing me of lying, saying that I had seen a shtreimel before”.
“I’m here to tell you, I have never seen a shtreimel before. I’ve lived in Australia my whole life – I’ve lived in Brisbane, Cairns, Thursday Island and now the Gold Coast, and I have never seen anyone walking the streets wearing a shtreimel.
“So when I saw that in New York, it was a new experience for me and I was making an observation and asking a question about why people were wearing it.”
Clark wrote a comment under the vlog clarifying that she’d since been informed of what a shtreimel was, but then “things only got worse from there”.
“People were then getting angry at me for saying [elsewhere in the vlog] ‘dodgy pizza place’, for treating New York like a zoo, and the comments were just filled with so much negativity,” she said.
“If it isn’t obvious, I have no idea what I’m doing. I am learning as I go. I do know, though, if I have offended anyone, I owe them an apology, and that’s what I want to do today.
“So firstly, I want to say sorry to anyone that was offended by my question – that wasn’t my intention. I was just making an observation, and I truly didn’t know what it was. And I am sorry if it offended you.
“Should I have done more research on the place I was visiting? Absolutely, and I’m sorry I didn’t.”