Editor of Bon Appetit magazine resigns after staff turns on him over brown face photos

The editor of Bon Appetit magazine, has resigned today after almost 10 years of holding its editor-in-chief position over accusations of racial insensitivity.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

The editor of Bon Appetit magazine, Adam Rapoport, has resigned today after almost 10 years of holding its editor-in-chief position. His departure came amid accusations of racial insensitivity, according to Variety.

Rapoport was criticized by members of his staff for his insensitivity with regard to racial issues. The critique began after a photo of him in brown face surfaced from a Halloween party 16-years-ago.

Rapoport confirmed the news of his resignation via his Instagram page.

"I am stepping down as editor in chief of Bon Appetit to reflect on the work I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appetit to get to a better place," wrote Rapoport. He admitted to having "blind spots as an editor," writing, "I’ve not championed an inclusive vision."

Sohla El-Waylly, an assistant editor at Bon Appetit's for the last year, accused Rapoport of paying white editors who appeared in their videos but not offering compensation to those who were people of colour. The magazine has denied that accusation.

Rapoport addressed the photo of him in brown face in the same Instagram post where he noted his resignation, calling the incident an "ill-conceived Halloween costume 16 years ago."

Since then, other editors at Bon Appetit such as Molly Baz and Carla Lalliw Music have called for the resignation of Rapoport, alongside El-Waylly.

"The [Bon Appetit] staff has been working hard to evolve the brand in a positive, more diverse direction," wrote Rapoport. "I will do all I can to support that work, but I am not the to lead that work. I am deeply sorry for my failings and to the position in which I put the editors of BA."

Condé Nast, Bon Appetit's parent company, released a statement to Twitter saying "We have a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination and harassment in any forms. Consistent with that, we go to great lengths to ensure that employees are paid fairly, in accordance with their roles and experience, across the entire company. We take the well-being of our employees seriously and prioritize a people-first approach to our culture."

On May 31, Rapoport wrote a post for Bon Appetit entitled "Food Has Always Been Political," in response to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.

In it, he wrote that the magazine planned to start "tackling more of the racial and political issues at the core of the food world."

"In recent years," he went on to say, "we at BA have been reckoning with our blind spots when it comes to race."

This post seemed to be what launched the major online backlash against Rapoport, beginning with Korsha Wilson, another food writer, who wrote on Twitter, "Interrupting my social media break to say: this is so fucking empty. I personally know Black women & women of color who were gaslit, fired and their ideas used by y'all @bonappetit Adam, what are you doing to fix your publication internally? Address that."

Rapoport was previously the style editor at GQ, also a publication under the Conde Nast media outlet, before being hired is Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit. Prior to his employment at GQ, he was restaurant editor for Time Out New York.

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