America’s moment of racial reckoning has sent Condé Nast cooking brand Bon Appétit into a tailspin, as on-camera talent at their popular YouTube channel continues to defect amid charges of racial insensitivity and unequal compensation.
Stars Priya Krishna, Sohla El-Waylly and Rick Martinez announced they were leaving Bon Appétit Test Kitchen after rejecting contract offers.
Soon after, employees Gaby Melian and Molly Baz, who both also appeared on camera in videos, said they would no longer do so until matters have beed rectified. And on Friday, Ryan Walker-Hartshorn and Jesse Sparks, the only two Black editorial staffers at Bon Appétit, both quit.
Bon Appétit hasn’t released a new video on its YouTube channel since June 5. Condé Nast plans for BA video production to begin in September “with some returning talent, in addition to new contributors which we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks,” Duncan said in the memo. “We will be using this time to reset and work with the teams and ensure diversity in front of and behind the camera for BA video.”
Bon Appétit has been in turmoil since the June ouster of editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport amid accusations of racial disparities at the magazine. On Thursday, the company named Sonia Chopra as executive editor of BA, who joins the title after six years at Vox Media’s Eater. Meanwhile, amid the allegations of unequal treatment of people of color at Condé Nast Entertainment, the company has sidelined former CNE president Oren Katzeff. Last week, it announced the hiring of Agnes Chu, formerly head of original content for Disney Plus, to lead the entertainment division as president.
Several of the white stars have acknowledged being aware of the problems and not doing enough to change things. Two were investigated as part of a larger reckoning, but the company has not revealed the outcome or actions taken. Stay tuned!
Image: YouTube / Bon Appétit