Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Priya Krishna, Rick Martinez, and Sohla El-Waylly quit Bon Appétit video over inequality issues

Priya Krishna
Priya Krishna
Screenshot: YouTube

It’s been two months since Adam Rapoport, former editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, resigned from his position at the popular food magazine/YouTube channel, specifically in response to the resurfacing of a picture of him in brownface on Instagram, and more generally in response to a series of complaints about the company’s handling of issues surrounding its workers of color. Among other topics, the site was called out for its use of contributors like Priya Krishna, a chef, writer, and contract employee who was often asked to stand in the background or otherwise appear on the Condé Nast-owned company’s “Test Kitchen” videos, and whose compensation for appearing in said videos was reported to be much less than her white colleagues—despite those same videos often treating her as an expert on food from non-American/European cultures. In the wake of Rapoport’s resignation, Bon Appétit’s management promised that changes would be coming to its video production, including a renewed focus on diversity, and an effort to make sure employees like Krishna were properly compensated for their work, talent, and expertise.

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But that was then, and this is now: The Washington Post reports that Krishna and fellow employees of color Sohla El-Waylly (who initially brought the long-standing issues to the public’s attention back in June) and Rick Martinez have now formally departed the Test Kitchen series of videos, citing a failure on Bon Appétit video’s part to live up to its promises. Krishna specifically called out the company in a social media post today, writing that “These past few months have been disappointing and insulting,” and that “I am thankful for the platform Bon Appétit video gave me. But I refuse to be part of a system that takes advantage of me, while insisting I should be grateful for scraps.” El-Waylly and Martinez expressed similar unhappiness in interviews with Business Insider, stating that while they were offered raises, they would still have been paid less than the channel’s white contributors. “The only thing I can work out in my head is that the sanctity of the institution is more important than some of the people who work there,” Martinez said.

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The three employees are still employed at the magazine proper. Condé Nast issued a statement today, asserting that the Bon Appétit video team, “worked individually with each Test Kitchen contributor to address all concerns and communicate equitable compensation structures.”

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