Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit, came under fire Monday with calls for him to resign or be fired after allegations that the Condé Nast food title pays white editors — but not people of color — for video appearances. The charge came after a photo of Rapoport in brown face was posted on social media.
Representatives for Condé Nast did not respond to requests for comment. Rapoport did not respond to an email inquiry.
Sohla El-Waylly, a chef and restaurateur who was hired last year as an assistant editor at Bon Appetit and has appeared in the BA Test Kitchen video series, said on her Instagram Story Monday that only white editors are paid to make video appearances for the magazine’s digital channels. She said she was hired at a salary of $50,000 to “assist white editors with significantly less experience than me.”
“I’ve been pushed in front of video as a display of diversity,” she wrote. “In reality, currently only white editors are paid for their video appearances. None of the people of color have been compensated for their appearances.”
El-Waylly said she was demanding the resignation of Rapoport, and she alleged that this case is “just a symptom of the systemic racism that runs within… Condé Nast as a whole.”
Follower her post, Bon Appetit senior food editor Molly Baz said in an IG Story, “Please let it be known that I stand with my family @bonappetitmag and do not support the behavior of our current editor in chief.”
Baz continued, “I WILL NOT APPEAR IN ANY VIDEOS ON BON APPETIT UNTIL MY BIPOC COLLEAGUES RECEIVE EQUAL PAY AND ARE FAIRLY COMPENSATED FOR THEIR APPEARANCES.” Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appetit editor at large, on her IG Story said she supported Baz’s position.
El-Waylly was responding to an earlier image posted on Twitter of Rapoport in brown face, evidently a Halloween costume, from an Instagram post in 2013.
Also Monday, in a thread on Twitter, former Bon Appetit staff photographer Alex Lau said he left the magazine “for multiple reasons, but one of the main reasons was that white leadership refused to make changes that my BIPOC coworkers and I constantly pushed for.”
“when i asked ‘why have we shot food all around the world, but haven’t touched the entire continent of Africa?’, their response: ‘oh you know, the recipes get tricky, and readers probably wouldn’t want to make the food,’” Lau wrote on Twitter.
Lau alleged that it isn’t “solely a [Bon Appetit[ problem. this is a conde nast problem. blame roger moore, blame anna wintour, blame all of the people in conde corporate that you’ve never heard of. they are responsible for creating this culture.”
Condé Nast, hit by the economic downturn amid the COVID-19 pandemic, last month said it was laying off about 100 U.S. employees and putting another 100 on unpaid leave for several months, among other cost-cutting measures. The company had about 6,000 employees at the start of 2020.
The backlash against Rapoport and Bon Appetit came after the magazine posted an article of Black-owned restaurants organized by city, which the article said is “one practical, actionable way to stand in solidarity with the Black community now, and always.”