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Update: Inside The Turmoil At Bon Appétit

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Aug 03, 2020
Update: Inside The Turmoil At Bon Appétit

Seven weeks ago, we reported on the turmoil at Bon Appétit. Current and former employees went public with stories of marginalization, a toxic work culture, tokenization, and unequal pay. After two high-profile resignations, the magazine and its parent company Condé Nast vowed to change. Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch committed to fostering "a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace” at BA. Interim BA editor in chief Amanda Shapiro wrote that she demanded change from corporate leadership, and promised to address cultural bias in the Test Kitchen. BA is also undertaking a recipe audit to address problems of “authorship, appropriation, the white gaze, and erasure.”

That’s what’s been said publicly. Today, we investigate what that change looks like from the inside, with the help of six people from Bon Appétit, all of whom asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. Condé Nast also responds to some of our questions.

Among the things that have happened in the last seven weeks: Matt Hunziker, a video editor who staffers of color saw as an ally, was suspended. Our sources tell us that people of color are being offered much less for video contracts than their white counterparts. Our sources also describe a culture of intimidation at the company.

In addition to the specific responses to our questions, Condé Nast provided us with this statement: 

"We’ve taken seriously the issues raised by our BA team and immediately engaged an independent third party to address these matters. Reflecting our diversity and inclusion values, we believe in taking direct actions to confront all forms of racism, in society and within our company. We are always striving to do better but it’s only through a diversity of backgrounds, views and cultures that we can do our work to the highest of standards of which we are holding ourselves and the industry at-large accountable. New leadership at BA, reflecting these values, will be announced soon."

We published this episode Monday morning, August 3rd. On Thursday, three stars of the BA Test Kitchen— Priya Krishna, Rick Martinez, and Sohla El-Wayllyannounced that they would no longer be participating in videos for Bon Appétit.

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

- "Brute Force" by Lance Conrad

- "Talk to Me Now (Instrumental)" by Agasthi Jayatilaka

- "Iced Coffee" by Josh Leininger

- "Stacks" by Afrokeys

- "Hang Tight" by Hayley Briasco

- "Rooftop Instrumental" by Erick Anderson

Photo courtesy of u/imnofox.

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