Honolulu, HI (KITV) — A video making the rounds on social media has sparked outrage in Hawaii. It shows a woman squatting in a restricted area of Iolani Palace. Max Ferlitsch is the person who posted the video and says he’s now getting death threats. It’s not clear if he shot the video. He also claims people are showing up to his house upset. The video was originally posted on Tik Tok and it has gone viral.
“Iolani Palace is the last tangible connection, that we as kanaka have, to our past that connects us to the monarchy and prior to that, to times of traditional alii leadership.” Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Hawaiian community leader and educator, said. “I’m not so much angry, as I am disappointed, yet again, we see the great disrespect and the callousness foreigners who come to Hawaii have for us.”
Some of the footage shows a woman posing on a toilet behind a roped off area.
KITV4 asked Ferlitsch if he has anything to say to the people who are bashing him for the video.
“To the people who are bashing me for the video. I understand people right now are incredibly sensitive. There’s a lot of racial tension going on in our world right now. In my opinion, if you say something, whether it’s misconstrued or not, people will decide you’re the scapegoat,” he replied.
Ferlitsch is a physical education teacher at Hilo High School. There’s questions tonight about what some see as other controversial videos posted on his account. Enough concern, the Department of Education said they’re investigating.
Both Ferlitsch and the woman in the video are no longer allowed in the palace. Paula Akana, executive director of the only royal palace on American soil sent KITV4 a statement: “Our kuleana to protect, preserve, and perpetuate the cultural and historical qualities of Iolani Palace is of utmost importance to us. This was an unfortunate incident and we appreciate the community’s concern and support for this treasured piece of Hawaii’s history.”
There’s 24/7 security on palace grounds but we were told there’s no witnesses. Wong-Kalu says she’d like to see people practice Kapu Aloha, that’s expressing themselves non-violently and not make death threats.
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