Bon Appetit’s Racial Reckoning Inspires HBO Comedy Series

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 10: Adam Rapoport speaks onstage during the 2019 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)

Bon Appetit’s Racial Reckoning Inspires HBO Comedy Series

Former assistant Ryan Walker-Hartshorn will serve as a consultant.

Published March 12th

Written by BET Staff

Bon Appétit’s problematic behind the scenes unraveling is the subject of a new HBO Max comedy series.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Enjoy Your Meal will satirically examine the toxic culture of the food media industry. The half-hour program 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."

Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, the former assistant to the publication’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport and only Black woman on staff, will serve as a consultant for the series. Amy Aniobi, an Insecure writer and executive producer will write the script. She will also executive produce along with The Kids Are All Right’s Galt Niederhoffer and Monica Villarreal and Drew Dixon.

Last Summer, Bon Appétit came under scrutiny when a photo of Rapoport in blackface surfaced, which led to his ousting. Staffers subsequently alleged that his behavior was part of a larger cultural problem at the magazine. Assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly claimed she was used as a “display of diversity” in Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen” videos and wasn’t paid for many of her on-camera appearances.

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Walker-Hartshorn told Business Insider that she was paid a base salary of $35,300 with no raises for nearly three years. She claims that when she approached Rapoport about a salary increase, he told her, "Well, maybe you should consider that this is not the right job for you."

Among Walker-Hartshorn’s job duties were to clean Rapoport’s golf clubs, fetch his son’s passport and teach his wife how to use Google Calendar. She said at the time that Rapoport treated her like “the help” and wanted to move on to her next chapter: to "continue championing Black stories and Black people — wherever that may be."

Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

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