Korean-American YouTuber, influencer Sophia Chang was bullied at a restaurant in California, where a fellow customer asked her to "Go back to Wuhan." Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic spread, many Asians have been bullied in America.

The incident occurred at Bluewater Gril restaurant at Newport Beach in California. A Caucasian man was walking towards the bathroom and making a direct eye contact with Chang and said "Go back to Wuhan." Chang waited for him to return from the bathroom and stopped him to ask why he said such a thing. To this, the man replied "I don't speak Chinese, I don't know what you're talking about".

James Hilbrant Sophia Chang
James Hilbrant is accused of bullying Korean-American YouTuber Sophia Chang at a restaurant in California. Instagram

The Chang sisters then spoke to the manager of the restaurant in California and told her that if the man is not removed from the restaurant, they will post the video. The manager then walked up to the Caucasian man and started talking to him. The sisters then said that the manager did not take any action against the man. Instead, she offered them deserts on the house.

As the restaurant did not take any action against the man, Chang posted the video on her Instagram account that has over 543,000 followers. Following the revelation, the news was also covered by the Korean news channel MBC.

Caucasian Man Identified, Employer Responds

The man in the video has been identified as James Hilbrant. He is said to be working for Prudential Insurance. People have been demanding action against the man. Reacting to the same, Prudential too issued a statement and said that the matter will be investigated. "Prudential has zero-tolerance for discrimination. This matter will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action will be taken," it stated. Chang has demanded that Hilbrant must be fired from his job.

Meanwhile, people also commented sating that they will never step into Bluewater Grill again. This led the restaurant to take a stand and issue a statement in this regard. The Bluewater Grill stated that the manager asked the man to leave, but did not forcibly take him out of the restaurant premises. "Within 10 minutes the person paid their bill and left the premises. The patron in question is no longer welcome at Bluewater Grill," said the post from the restaurant.

It also addressed the issue of the man in question hugging one of the employees of the hotel before he left. "There is also mention of the customer hugging our employee, and we would like to make it clear that this was unsolicited and occurred before our employee was made aware of the situation. After the patron left, we made sure that our guests were comfortable and well taken care of," added the statement.

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Hello Everyone, We would like to address a situation that occurred at our restaurant last evening. During dinner, a customer let us know that she was on the receiving end of racist comments made by another patron. We immediately addressed the situation with the customer and asked them to leave. We understand that some feel there was a lack of urgency in removing this patron from the premises. However, the safety of all our customers and staff is our utmost concern and we wanted to make sure this situation did not escalate and become hostile. Within 10 minutes the person paid their bill and left the premises. There is also mention of the customer hugging our employee, and we would like to make it clear that this was unsolicited and occurred before our employee was made aware of the situation. After the patron left, we made sure that our guests were comfortable and well taken care of. The patron in question is no longer welcome at Bluewater Grill. Bluewater Grill has been in business 24 years and we pride ourselves on our customer service, diverse staff and commitment to a safe environment free of racism or harassment. We do not condone prejudice or racism in any form. This includes remarks made by customers which we cannot control. We take matters like this seriously and are disgusted that any guest would be subjected to an insensitive remark by another guest. -The Bluewater Grill Family

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On September 12, my sister @robinchang and I encountered a racist man around 6pm at @bluewatergrill in Newport Beach while having dinner. His name is JAMES HILBRANT. He is currently an employee of @prudential, one of the biggest life insurance companies in the US. He told my sister and I to “GO BACK TO WUHAN”. Once we confronted him he proceeded to insult us by saying, “I DON’T SPEAK CHINESE” even though we were clearly speaking English. When the manager approached him, it looked like he was denying everything. However, when the staff was not around James would stare us down with this look as if he knew he just got away with what he said. I will never forget that moment and it replays over and over in my head. I immediately took action by recording the incident on my phone. Unfortunately, I pulled it out right after he insulted us, but it was clear that even the manager knew he what he was doing. Robin and I simply went to Newport Beach to have a nice dinner outdoors. We said NOTHING to this man and for him to verbally attack us because of our race is unacceptable. Ever since the pandemic, there has been an increasing number of hateful acts against Asians. It doesn’t help that our president called Covid-19 the “Chinese virus”. Donald Trump’s rhetoric has influenced people like JAMES HILBRANT to believe that they are invincible and can get away with racial harassment but that is simply NOT the case today. James Hilbrant needs to be held accountable. @prudential - he should be permanently terminated from your company!! We are waiting on a statement. I feel so fortunate that I have a platform where I am able to share my experience and shine a light on racism against Asians. This could have happened to anyone. I can’t imagine how many times he has probably gotten away with something like this. To everyone who has commented, shared, or reposted THANK YOU SO MUCH. There is an obvious divide in our country, but this incident has truly opened my eyes on the unity that still exists today. I know I am just one person, but I hope that shedding a light on this encourages anyone who deals with racial harassment to SPEAK UP. Do not let them win.

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