Bon Appetit vows to resolve pay inequities and prioritize people of color for editor in chief search

Posted June 10, 2020 1:21 p.m. EDT

— Condé Nast-owned food brands Bon Appétit and Epicurious apologized and committed to creating change following the resignation of editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport over racism allegations.

Titled "A Long-Overdue Apology, and Where We Go From Here," the statement was posted to Bon Appétit's site on Wednesday. The statement referred to a 2013 Instagram photo of Rapoport in brown face as "horrific on its own, but also speaks to the much broader and longstanding impact of racism at these brands."

That image of Rapoport shared on Twitter Monday inspired a flood of other allegations of racism and pay disparity at Bon Appétit. Rapoport resigned Monday evening.

The accusations came from current staffers at Bon Appétit, including assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly, who wrote in an Instagram post that she was only making $50,000 and that only white editors were paid to appear in the magazine's popular cooking videos.

Wednesday's statement seemed to address El-Waylly's allegations with, "Many new BIPOC hires have been in entry-level positions with little power, and we will be looking to accelerate their career advancement and pay. Black staffers have been saddled with contributing racial education to our staffs and appearing in editorial and promotional photo shoots to make our brands seem more diverse. We haven't properly learned from or taken ownership of our mistakes. But things are going to change."

Bon Appétit said it will prioritize people of color for consideration for the editor in chief position left open by Rapoport's departure. The company also committed to anti-racism training for the staff and to resolve pay inequities. Going forward, the company said it will hire more freelancers of color.

"We will also create research protocols to vet the subjects of our coverage; there will be zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, or harassment in any form. This is just the start. We want to be transparent, accountable, and active as we begin to dismantle racism at our brands," the statement read.

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