The state of food journalism and Peter Meehan’s resignation from LA Times

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News media focusing on food, including the LA Times, are facing allegations of a toxic workplace culture for people of color. Photo by Brian Hardzinski.

Bon Appetit Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport resigned on June 8 amid accusations of a culture of discrimination against people of color at the company. Last week, the food editor at the LA Times, Peter Meehan, resigned amid accusations of creating a toxic workplace culture.

Both resignations are part of a larger scope of problems being cited at media companies. These problems include abuse of power, racism, pay inequity, discrimination, and sexism.

Meehan is denying the accusations. But Eater LA’s Mona Holmes says, “One thing that stood out to me was how quiet staffers were about Meehan. And that struck me as unusual. And I had no idea that the behavior was this bad. … The behavior was confirmed by many staffers [current and former] on social media.” 

She adds, “I desperately believe Los Angeles deserves better.”

During the pandemic, the food industry is hurting, and Holmes says that diverse voices in food media are more vital now than ever. “Los Angeles Times management should make sure that more voices are representative so that Southern California’s diverse traits, our food trends, our stories are written for the people who clearly want it.” 

Credits

Guest:
Mona Holmes - Eater LA - @monaeatsLA

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel