Three Bon Appétit Stars of Color Exit the Test Kitchen Over Alleged Racial Discrimination
By Liz Calvario
Bon Appétit Test Kitchen YouTube
Bon Appétit's From the Test Kitchen assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly, contributing food editor Rick Martinez and contributing writer Priya Krishna have left the video channel. Business Insider reports that the journalists' departures come after weeks of contract negotiations and Condé Nast coming under fire for its lack of diversity.
However, El-Waylly will continue to write recipes for the Bon Appétit magazine and website, with Krishna and Martinez will do editorial freelance work, per the New York Post.
In a lengthy post, Krishna detailed her reason for leaving Test Kitchen, claiming that "non-white members" of the channel were "tokenized," "not given equal opportunities to be featured," and "underpaid."
Martinez, on his end, touched on the "significant changes" that he was told were going to happen at Condé Nast and how he was "hopeful that things would change."
"But after 5 weeks of contract negotiations, it is clear that I will not get a fair pay rate nor will I get a comparable number of appearances to my colleagues in the test kitchen," he wrote, claiming that the company would not "share with me the specifics of the diversity and inclusivity initiatives" that they claimed to be working on.
He added that as a Mexican American, a BIPOC, or member of any marginalized group, he wants people to know their worth.
El-Waylly wrote in her Instagram story on Thursday, "I've decided I wont be producing anymore videos for Bon Appétit," adding, "No hate to the editors who've decided to stay, it's just not the right thing for me." She didn't elaborate on the reason for her exit.
In a statement to ET, Condé Nast stated: "Over the last several weeks, the video team has worked individually with each Test Kitchen contributor to address all concerns and communicate equitable compensation structures, including standardized rate cards, in many ways exceeding SAG/AFTRA standards, for freelance and editorial staff who contribute to video. As new leadership at both Condé Nast Entertainment and Bon Appétit join the team in the coming weeks, new video programming with new and returning talent will also be announced."
Bon Appétit’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport resigned in June after a photo surfaced that showed him in brownface. Additionally, head of Condé Nast Entertainment’s lifestyle video programming Matt Duckor also left his post after allegations that he paid people of color less than their white colleagues and didn't feature POCs in Bon Appétit's Test Kitchen videos.
In June, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour admitted there are "too few" Black employees at the Condé Nast magazine in an email to staffers about the publication's transgressions. Wintour began the message, obtained by ET, by acknowledging the "sadness, hurt, and anger" her staff might be experiencing at this time in America's history.
"I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team -- I can only imagine what these days have been like," she wrote. The fashion icon noted that it would be announced shortly how "work is being done" on a corporate level to support organizations. Wintour did not specify what organizations.
"Meanwhile, I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators," she continued. "We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes."