Bon Appétit cast members have announced they will not appear in any new videos until the claims of unequal pay for BIPOC staff are addressed.
The claims come after a photo of Bon Appétit’s Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport dressed in Brownface for Halloween in 2003 surfaced on social media over the weekend.
Sohla El-Waylly, a chef and restaurateur that was hired as an assistant editor last year and who has appeared in the magazine’s Test Kitchen series, posted on her Instagram story claiming that only white editors were paid for their contributions to videos.
The 35-year-old stated that she has been working at “Bon Appétit for 10 months as an assistant editor on $50k to assist mostly white editors with significantly less experience” than her.
“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.”
In case you’ve missed it: Not only is Sohla one of the only front facing Bon Appetit editors to denounce EIC Adam Rapoport doing brown face, apparently only white BA editors are paid for their video appearances. Here’s her Instagram story just now pic.twitter.com/h0uPMlJYHN
— Sarah Manavis (@sarahmanavis) June 8, 2020
El-Waylly and several other editors of Bon Appétit magazine have called for the compensation of BIPOC workers who have appeared in videos on the site.
Senior Food Editor Molly Baz has called for a strike, asking fellow Bon Appétit cast members not to appear in any further videos until the pay disparity claims against the magazine are rectified, saying she “stands with her BIPOC colleagues.”
Associate editor of Bon Appétit Christina Chaey also tweeted saying she was “disgusted and humiliated at my Editor-in-Chief’s actions” and labelled it as a “disgrace.”
Research director at Bon Appétit, Joseph Hernandez, also condemned the Editor-in-Chief’s choice to dress in Brownface, saying he was insulted and appalled at the picture which had surfaced.
Other Bon Appétit staff members such as Claire Saffitz, Chris Morroco, Carla Lalli and Brad Leone have added their support to the strike, each calling for better pay and treatment for their BIPOC colleagues.
Adam Rapoport has since resigned, announcing that he would be stepping down from his role at Bon Appétit on Instagram. In the post, he stated that he would be “stepping down from his role as Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appétit to reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place.”
He also apologised for his actions, saying that he had “not championed an inclusive vision” and that “ultimately, it was at the expense of Bon Appétit and its readers.”
A petition has also been created for BIPOC workers to be compensated for their appearances in videos at Bon Appétit, which you can sign here.
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