[Photo: Padma Lakshmi/Facebook]
An unnamed Top Chef crew member is alleging that host Padma Lakshmi was verbally attacked by Boston Teamsters while filming for the upcoming season back in June. According to Deadline, Boston's Teamsters Local 25 were incredibly angry that the show had hired local production assistants to drive "cast and crew vehicles" instead of the Teamsters. A dozen or so members decided to picket outside of Steel & Rye in Milton, Mass. where the show was being shot. They apparently kept taunting the crew for hours, "raining down racist, sexist and homophobic threats and slurs as staffers came to and left the set." When Lakshmi arrived, picketers apparently started screaming, "You bitch! You slut! We're gonna get you!"
The local deputy police chief John King told Deadline that the first police officer on the scene had to call for back up because the Teamsters "gave the officer trouble." They were apparently "hostile, swearing, and refusing to let people come in and out." King adds that a group of Teamsters slashed the tires "on 14 different cars owned by the crew."
While Bravo, Lakshmi's reps, and Magical Elves — the production company — declined to comment to Deadline, another unnamed source has confirmed the story to the Boston Globe, but adds that the incident was "isolated." Top Chef Boston premieres on October 15 on Bravo.