A Nazi sympathizer who was the focus of a New York Times article last week has lost his job.
Twenty-five-year-old Tony Hovater, as well as his wife and brother-in-law, had worked at an Ohio restaurant until Wednesday, when 571 Grill and Draft House in New Carlisle announced they were no longer employed there.
In a statement, the restaurant rejected Hovater's views, noting that its owner was not aware of them before the NYT article was published.
The restaurant also said it had been flooded with complaints, even though it was not mentioned by name in the piece:
Since the release of this article, we have been swamped with phone calls and social media messages that are threatening and intimidating to both us and our employees. These hateful and disturbing messages are truly saddening to those of us who just want to serve delicious food and cold beers.
Due to these very disturbing threats, the employee who was featured in the article suggested that we release him from employment. We have done so and have also released his wife and her brother who also worked for us. We felt it necessary to fully sever the relationship with them in hopes to protect our 20 other employees from the verbal and social media threats being made from individuals all over the country, and as far as Australia. We neither encourage nor support any forms of hate within our establishment.
Speaking by phone with the publication, Hovater revealed a slightly different version of events. “They decided to can me,” he said. Hovater later added later via text, “We're moving because of safety reasons.”
The NY Times piece, which some have criticized for a lenient presentation of Hovater's views, depicted his “casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate.”
Hovater is part of the Traditionalist Worker Party, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a hate group allied with neo-Nazis.