Not Everyone Is Happy With John Oliver's Red Lobster Stunt

Kingston business owner says he'd hoped to buy equipment from the eatery that Oliver scooped up
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2024 10:10 AM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2024 11:15 AM CDT
John Oliver Isn't the Only Celeb Diving Into Red Lobster
Andra Day, left, and John Oliver are seen at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 29 in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

John Oliver's acquisition of a Red Lobster in upstate New York had many laughing after Sunday's Last Week Tonight segment on it, but not everyone appreciated the stunt. Per News 12, Eric Deising, owner of Deising's Bakery in Kingston, near where Oliver's new purchase is located, admits he was "one of the vultures" who'd hoped to pick up some equipment from the dying Red Lobster site, including a 36-inch grill and a commercial convection oven. Instead, Oliver is "just beating me all over the place," he laughs. And local officials are getting territorial over news headlines about Oliver's get, over a technicality.

"If he bought everything from the Kingston location, he has nothing, because the Red Lobster is in the town of Ulster," sniffs a rep for Ulster Town Supervisor James Quigley. Meanwhile, Oliver isn't the only celebrity injecting himself into the Red Lobster arena. People reports that rapper Flavor Flav is on his own mission to save the chain, an effort he figured he'd jump-start by buying every item on the menu at a Red Lobster near him. "Ya boy said he wuz gonna do everything to help Red Lobster and save the Cheddar Bay Biscuits," read a Monday Instagram post by the clock-necklace-wearing hip-hop star, showing him standing over what Dennis Lee of the Takeout notes is "one of the most glorious Red Lobster spreads I've ever seen, spanning multiple tables."

Flav's team tells TMZ that Flav's daughter helped him partake in all the offerings, and that the two "nearly finished the entire spread" (they did leave with two takeout boxes). The outlet notes there may even be "a potential partnership afoot" between the rapper and Red Lobster. (More Red Lobster stories.)

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