Twitter Users Demand Fair Pay For Bon Appetit Editor Sohla El-Waylly

Overview

Bon Appetit Racism Controversy refers to a series of events leading to the restructuring of the American magazine company Bon Appetit and their video production. In June 2020, following the George Floyd Protests, Editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport resigned after a photo of himself in brownface resurfaced and editor Sohla El-Waylly released a statement accusing the company of paying POCs unfair wages.

Background

On May 31st, 2020, Bon Appétit’s editor in chief Adam Rapoport published an article called “Food Has Always Been Political” regarding how the company plans to address “the nationwide uprisings.” On June 8th, Twitter user @tammieetc posted a screenshot of Rapoport in brownface during a Halloween party taken from his Instagram account which has since been deleted. The tweet, captioned “I do not know why Adam Rapoport simply doesn’t write about Puerto Rican food for @bonappetit himself!!!” gained over 2,200 likes and 790 retweets in four days (shown below).


UNIONIZE CONDE, FAST @tammieetc I do not know why Adam Rapoport simply doesn't write about Puerto Rican food for @bonappetit himself! instagram.com/p/gJwGKVioSj/?... aker 68 likes simoneshubuck #TBT me and my papi @rapo4 #boricua View all 16 comments October 31, 2013 10:27 AM - Jun 8, 2020 - Twitter for iPhone Adam Rapoport Simone Shubuck Nose Photo caption

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On June 8th, 2020, editor at Bon Appetit Sohla El-Waylly posted a statement to her Instagram stories saying,

“I’ve been at Bon Appetit for 10 months. I am 35 years old and have over 15 years of professional experience. I was hired as an assistant editor at $50k to assist mostly white editors ith significantly less experience than me. I’ve been pushed in front of video as a display of diversity. In reality, currently, only white editors are paid for their video appearances. None of the people of color have been compensated”

Twitter user @emdwu reposted the statement and earned over 51,20 likes and 20,600 retweets in five days (shown below, left). That same day, Twitter user @nerfbabydva posted screenshots from Brad Leone’s Instagram stories which said that he would not be making any more videos until his “employer addresses these issues that have been ignored” (shown below, right).


defund the fucking police @emdwu from sohla's Instagram stories bon appetit's lack of diversity is obvious from the video content that spurred its massive following, but to find out that only white editors are paid for video appearances? i am disgusted schlae an sehiae an I've been at Bon Appetit I've been pushed in for 10 months. I am 35 front of video as a years old and have over 15 years of professional experience. I was hired display of diversity. In reality, currently only white editors are paid as an assistant editor at for their video S50k to assist mostly white editors with appearances. None of the people of color have nienitionnoks loce 2:51 PM - Jun 8, 2020 - Twitter for iPhone Text Font Line Peachy, amatuer e-wife @nerfbabydva Brad's statement on the adam rapoport brown face situation. 635 636 bradJeone 32 want to be clear in my appointment in today's news. ll of it. stand with my Colleagues that have aready spoken out and above all - I want my BIPOC colleagues to know I support them. Everyone should be fairly compensated and RESPECTED for their work. I hope I have done y part to Arays support you as teammates Hey guys.. lots of folks are asking thất I not post any new BA videos. I and other editors Con't control that. Wether or not BA continues to post things Ishot is out of my control butI wiſl no Tonger shoot new videos until my EMPLOYER addresses these issues that have been ignored 7:37 PM - Jun 8, 2020 - Twitter for iPhone Text Font Screenshot
That evening, according to Daily Dot, Adam Rapoport posted to Instagram saying

“I am stepping down 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. From an extremely ill-conceived Halloween costume 16 years ago to my blind spot as an editor, I’ve not championed an inclusive vision. And ultimately, It’s been at the expense of Bon Appétit and it’s staff, as well as our readers. They all deserve better” (shown below, left).

On June 10th, Instagram account bonappetitmag posted a message from the Bon Appétit and Epicurious staff addressing the situation and garnered over 180,140 likes in three days (shown below, right).


Iam stepping down 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. Text Font Black Line Organism We, the staffs of Bon Appétit and Epicurious, want to address our readers, contributors, and peers in light of Adam Rapoport's resignation as editor in chief. The deeply offensive photo circulating of Adam is horrific on its own, but also speaks to the much broader and longstanding impact of racism at these brands. We have been complicit with a culture we don't agree with and are committed to change. Our mastheads have been far too white for far too long. As a result, the recipes, stories, and people we've highlighted have too often come from a white-centric viewpoint. Text Font Organism Line
On June 10th, 2020, Twitter user @s_whip_ posted a video with the caption, “the fact that sohla was hired at bon appetit for $50K/year and doesn’t get paid for video appearances like her white colleagues is digusting. anyways here’s a montage of her cooking circles around everyone at ba” (shown below). The video accumulated over 134,100 likes and 43,500 retweets in three days.

On June 11th, 2020, Bon Appetit editors continued to respond in support of El-Waylly, including Christina Chaey and Claire Saffitz who garnered over 132,700 likes and 214,100 likes respectively for their statements made on Instagram (shown below). Variety and New York Times published articles regarding the controversy.
I am one of a handful of non-white faces in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. Like Sohla El-Waylly, I have never received a single dollar for my video contributions. I have never received a merit raise or promotion for my work in almost three years of service. I'm starting to unpack why I've never felt empowered to ask for more. I'm also starting to reckon with my place in a brand that has upheld the toxic culture of white power in old media, including my complicity in a system that made me believe I should feel lucky that I got a seat at their table. Text Font I've spent the last few days searching for words to express to my friends and colleagues and also to BA viewers. I sought advice that I decided not to take and deleted drafts because, frankly, most of what white people say right now sounds trite and hollow. I don't want to repeat platitudes about

Various Examples


lunini @solita lunita i cant believe im boycotting bon appetit until they fire adam rapoport and sohla gets paid her DUES Iam not asking anymore I am DEMANDING 4:05 PM - Jun 8, 2020 - Twitter for Android Photo caption star @dazzlinghaaze IN THIS HOUSE WE LOVE AND RESPECT SOHLA FROM THE BON APPETIT TEST KITCHEN 4:17 PM - Jun 9, 2020 - Twitter for Android Facial expression Product casey @caseyydunne anyway stan sohla el-waylly 3:33 PM Jun 8, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone Cook kitchen witch Alyssa @holdyourghost idk if any of you are in on the Bon Appetit thing but Hawa only got paid FOUR HUNDRED PER VIDEO. I am. so angry!!! Claire makes 20k per VIDEO. Sohla only gets paid 50k per YEAR!! I always had a dislike for Rapoport but this really makes me hate his guts. HAWA MAKES DIGAAG QUMBE bon appétit 6:02 PM - Jun 8, 2020 - Twitter Web App Vegetarian cuisine Lahoh Food Cuisine Dish Recipe Ingredient * Carlgpy @whirringblender Sending a little love to Sohla El-Waylly and Priya Krishna, two brave, talented people whose work for BA have brought me a lot of joy. @bonappetit please give these women and your other employees of color the treatment and compensation they have earned PRIYA KRISHNA SOHLA EL- WAYLLY KAR CARLY 5:35 PM · Jun 8, 2020 · Twitter Web App Face Text Facial expression Cartoon Head Line Nose Aaliyah 2 @NotThatAaliyah if i wake up tomorrow and find out i have to cancel chris morocco #bonappetit 5:50 PM - Jun 8, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone Text

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