Bon Appétit Editor Reveals POC Earn Far Less Than White Co-Workers

Bon Appétit Editor Reveals POC Earn Far Less Than White Co-WorkersBon Appétit Editor Reveals POC Earn Far Less Than White Co-Workers
Kimberly Nguyen
June 9, 2020
American food and entertainment magazine Bon Appétit is facing harsh criticism for its treatment and compensation of its POC workers following a reveal by staff member Sohla El-Waylly of her pay compared to her white counterparts.
For her over 15-year experience in the culinary field, she only made $50,000 as an “assistant editor” to editors “with significantly less experience” during her 10 months at the company, as reported by E News.
Her other colleagues at Condé Nast can make just over $100,000 in comparison, as reported by The New York Times.
This comes after Sohla called for the resignation of Editor in Chief of Bon Appétit Adam Rapoport, whose Halloween photo depicted brown face was unearthed and has since been taken down from his Instagram. The photo showed the former editor and chief and his wife, Simone Shubuck, in stereotypical Puerto Rican attire.
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“This is just a system of the systematic racism that runs rampant within CondeNast as a whole,” El-Waylly wrote in an Instagram story. She demanded that BIPOC be given fair titles, salaries, and compensation for video appearances.
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Brooklyn-based Somali cook Hawa Hassan said she had not worked with the company since last October, posting on Instagram that she made only $400 per video appearance. El-Waylly said she has also been featured in videos as a show of diversity. The company is wildly known for its food videos on YouTube, gaining over six million subscribers.
Screenshots via @hawa_22
Other people of color within Bon Appétit have voiced mistreatment and tokenization from the company, accusing it of fostering an environment of racism. Publisher Condé Nast has denied these accusations.
The company had tweeted reaffirming their commitment to diversity, without specifically addressing the person and allegations they had brought forth.
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New York video editor Matt Hunziker tweeted in a thread that change unfortunately would only come from criticism in the community.
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“The way writers/chefs of color have been taken advantage of is as gross as it is obvious,” he wrote. “Glaring tokenization aside, there’s been an appalling inability to address the failure to meaningfully include and support Black voices.”
Contributor Priya Krishna called for accountability from Bon Appétit.
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“It erases the work the BIPOC on staff have long been doing, behind the scenes,” she wrote.
Former Bon Appétit photographer Alex Lau tweeted that he left because of the white leadership’s refusal for change.
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Rapoport has since stepped down from his position, posting an apology on his Instagram, saying that he needed to do work as a “human being” and reflect on his choices within the company.
“It’s been at the expense of Bon Appétit and its staff, as well as our readers. They all deserve better,” he wrote.
Matt Duckor, the head of programming, lifestyle and style at Condé Nast, also took to Twitter to demand that all those who appeared “on camera be compensated accordingly.”
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It’s not the first time Bon Appétit as gotten criticism from the BIPOC community. In 2016, the magazine released a video in which a white chef explained how to eat the popular Vietnamese dish Pho.
Feature Images via @sohlae
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