KTNV (LAS VEGAS) — Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is reacting to a viral video of him out to dinner with his wife while a band performs live entertainment feet away.
The video was taken on Saturday at Monzu, an Italian restaurant near Jones and Flamingo.
The raw version of the video, obtained by 13 Investigates, is approximately 43 seconds long.
In the video, it shows a band with at least 3 people playing instruments while a singer is at a microphone.
Another version, circulating on social media, is edited and presents a series of slides with phrases such as “I hope our governor does not see this! Live entertainment is a No No!” and points out the governor is in attendance.
“It really is sad to me that a situation was pretty standard and normal has turned into something that is controversial when there is no controversy,” said Giovanni Mauro, chef and owner of Monzu.
Mauro says on Monday, he was inundated with threatening and harassing phone calls from people upset by the video.
The slides of the video go on to say “Lounge bands are starving! Not allowed to play in casinos! NO LIVE MUSIC! NO SHOWS! ENTERTAINERS ARE HURTING!”
On Monday, the governor addressed the viral video head-on.
“This particular restaurant did temperature checks on the way and everyone wore masks, it was socially distanced, they did extra cleaning in the restaurant,” said Gov. Sisolak during a news conference.
“Ambient music, as it’s called, where people do not go buy a ticket or people do not pay admission, where that’s not the purpose of the visit is allowed in a restaurant,” explained Sisolak.
Gov. Sisolak says these guidelines have been allowed since Phase 2 reopening.
“I don’t get it,” said Mauro.
“To try and shame the governor, to try and gain political ammunition? I just don’t understand the motive and that is really sad to me,” added Mauro.
13 Investigates tracked down where the video originated.
“We’re gonna do whatever we can to save it, to be heard and that’s why I posted a video,” said Wally Eastwood, a Las Vegas entertainer.
Eastwood says he represents a group of entertainers that are struggling due to the guidelines put in place and restrictions on live shows and other similar venues to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This video was sent to me by people with these exact concerns and I try to replicate what they were feeling and what they were describing to me that evening,” said Eastwood in a pre-recorded video which was released to 13 Investigates.
Doctor Daliah Wachs, a family physician and syndicated radio show host says the directives are meant to keep people from gathering in close proximity to each other.
“They didn’t want there to be concerts or live entertainment where you had multiple crowds and tables and people drinking and people not socially distancing,” said Dr. Wachs.
“It was kind of twofold reason for there to be those restrictions,” added Wachs.
Mauro says he is stunned by the anger and backlash his restaurant has received since the video surfaced.
He points out there are a variety of restaurants that are providing live entertainment right now amid the pandemic in Las Vegas.
In June, the governor apologized after a viral picture showed him at Henderson restaurant without a mask on.