Adam Rapoport, after nearly 10 years at the editorial helm of Bon Appetit magazine, has resigned after controversy erupted over the editor-in-chief’s treatment of staff members of color and his insensitivity to racial issues — including the emergence of an old photo of him in brown face.
Rapoport posted news of his resignation from the Condé Nast food publication on Instagram.
“I am stepping down as editor in chief of Bon Appetit to reflect on the work I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appetit to get to a better place,” he wrote.
Rapoport said he had “blind spots as an editor,” writing, “I’ve not championed an inclusive vision.”
His exit comes after Rapoport was criticized on social media over Bon Appetit’s practices, including an allegation by Sohla El-Waylly, a chef and restaurateur whom Bon Appetit hired last year as an assistant editor, that the magazine pays white editors to appear in videos but not people of color. (Condé Nast has denied that charge.)
In his Instagram post, Rapoport referred to a photo posted Monday on social media showing him in brown face. Rapoport said that was an “ill-conceived Halloween costume 16 years ago.”
In addition to El-Waylly, other Bon Appetit editors — including Molly Baz and Carla Lalli Music — on Monday called for Rapoport to step down.
“The [Bon Appetit] staff has been working hard to evolve the brand in a positive, more diverse direction,” Rapoport wrote. “I will do all I can to support that work, but I am not the to lead that work. I am deeply sorry for my failings and to the position in which I put the editors of BA.”
With Rapoport’s resignation, Amanda Shapiro is the acting deputy editor of Bon Appetit, a Condé Nast rep said. Most recently, Shapiro has been editor of Healthyish, BA’s digital offshoot focused on food and wellness.
In a statement on its Twitter account Monday evening, Condé Nast — without directly addressing Rapoport — said, “We have a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination and harassment in any forms. Consistent with that, we go to great lengths to ensure that employees are paid fairly, in accordance with their roles and experience, across the entire company. We take the well-being of our employees seriously and prioritize a people-first approach to our culture.”
The backlash against Rapoport was sparked by his May 31 post, “Food Has Always Been Political,” in which he said Bon Appetit would be “tackling more of the racial and political issues at the core of the food world” and wrote, “In recent years, we at BA have been reckoning with our blind spots when it comes to race.” That prompted food writer Korsha Wilson to slam his post as “so f—ing empty,” saying, “I personally know Black women & women of color who were gaslit, fired and their ideas used by y’all @bonappetit. Adam, what are you doing to fix your publication internally? Address that.”
Separately, on Monday Refinery29 global EIC Christene Barberich announced she was stepping down from the role after charges of R29’s lack of racial diversity and allegations by former staffers of racial discrimination at the women-focused publication, now owned by Vice Media Group.
Prior to being named EIC of Bon Appetit in 2010, Rapoport was style editor at GQ, another Condé Nast publication. Before joining GQ in 2000, he was restaurant editor for Time Out New York and an editor and writer at the James Beard Foundation’s Publications Office.