‘Bon Appétit’ Scandal Inspires HBO Max Comedy Series With Ex-Editor-in-Chief’s Assistant Participating

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Tara C. Mahadevan
·3 min read
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Image via Getty/Presley Ann

Bon Appétit and the food media industry are getting the comedy treatment at HBO Max.

Titled Enjoy Your Meal, a new series will take a closer look at the toxic environment of food media, which has seen a massive takedown in recent months. Per the Hollywood Reporter. Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, who was the only Black woman on staff at Bon Appétit while working as assistant to ex-editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, will consult for the show.

According to the Enjoy Your Meal’s summary, the half-hour series will “draw inspiration from the multiple media scandals of summer 2020 and today, focusing on a cohort of young assistants of color who rise up to tear their cookie-cutter corporate culture apart.” Insecure writer and executive producer Amy Aniobi will write and serve as executive producer, alongside The Kids Are All Right’s Galt Niederhoffer, record producer Drew Dixon (the subject of HBO Max’s documentary On the Record), and Monica Villarreal for Authentic Management Productions.

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Bon Appétit found itself in hot water last summer after a photo surfaced of Rapoport wearing brownface. He was later forced out of his role, with staffers also claiming his actions were reflective of a number of cultural problems—including racial discrimination—at the publication.

Around that time, Walker-Hartshorn told Business Insider her salary was $35,300 and she didn’t see a raise for nearly three years. When she asked about increasing her salary or at least giving her a vacation, Rapoport reportedly told her, “Well, maybe you should consider that this is not the right job for you.” She also said he “treats me like the help,” asking her to complete tasks like cleaning his golf clubs, picking up his son’s passport, and showing his wife how to operate Google Calendar.

Ryan ultimately left Bon Appétit last August and shared some thoughts on Twitter upon her departure.

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Other employees at Bon Appétit also left their roles, including assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly who alleged she was only there “as a display of diversity” for the publication’s Test Kitchen video series. She said she wasn’t paid for some of the episodes and quit after she wasn’t able to land equal pay. The magazine’s path since then has been anything but smooth.

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