Editor of Bon Appétit steps down after brownface photo surfaces

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for ASME
Adam Rapoport speaks onstage during the Ellie Awards 2019 at Brooklyn Steel on March 14, 2019 in New York City. 

The editor in chief of Bon Appétit magazine stepped down Monday after photos of him in brownface surfaced.

Adam Rapoport announced his resignation from the food magazine on Instagram after a photo of him and his wife Simone Shubuck dressed as Puerto Rican stereotypes made an appearance on Twitter.

The editor said he would “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 spots as an editor, I’ve not championed an inclusive vision,” he said. “And ultimately, it’s been at the expense of Bon Appétit and its staff, as well as our readers.”

Rapoport’s resignation came after Tammie Teclemariam, a freelance food and drinks writer, posted a screenshot of a 2013 Instagram post on Shubuck’s page. The caption read, “#TBT me and my papi @rapo4 #boricua.”

The image was removed before noon, The New York Times reported

Rapoport took over as editor in chief at the magazine in 2010 and has worked for the parent company Condé Nast for 20 years. 

Several staff at Bon Appétit reacted to the photo by calling for Rapoport’s resignation and for better compensation and treatment of people of color on staff. Sohla El-Waylly, an assistant food editor at the magazine, told BuzzFeed News that Rapoport called a staff-wide Zoom meeting to apologize and that she requested he resign.

After the meeting, she wrote about the racial discrimination she has experienced at the magazine on her Instagram story. 

“I’ve been pushed in front of video as a display of diversity,” she wrote. “In reality, currently only white editors are paid for their video appearances. None of the people of color have been compensated for their appearances.” 

Molly Baz, a senior food editor at Bon Appétit, and Carla Lalli Music, the food editor at large, said they wouldn’t appear in the magazine’s videos until people of color were fairly compensated, according to screenshots of their Instagram stories.

Tags Bon Appétit brownface Conde Nast Equal pay Resign resignation
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