Commentary

Second Food Editor Resigns: First Rapoport At 'Bon Appetit, Now Meehan At 'LAT'

Peter Meehan's resignation yesterday from his job as editor of the Los Angeles Times food section led me to wonder whether there is a broader pattern of cancel culture in food media.

The simple answer is that it's too early to tell, based on a handful of circumstances.

Meehan's resignation came two days after freelance writer Tammie Teclemariam posted a series of tweetsthat alleged Meehan had verbally abused and sexually harassed employees.

Teclemariam is the same person who posted an embarrassing picture of Adam Rapaport on Instagram, leading him to quit his job as editor of Bon Appetit three weeks ago.

Aside from being exposed by Teclemariam, there appear to be few similarities between Meehan and Rapaport, except they are both food editors. The accusations against Meehan center on abusive and objectionable behavior toward underlings, while those against Rapaport spurred a broader discussion about how races and cultures are represented in food media.
The picture of Rapaport showed him dressed for Halloween as a stereotype of a Puerto Rican man. The offensive photo was the catalyst for a deeper examination of the "longstanding impact of racism" at Bon Appetit  and sister brand Epicurious, as their staffs wrote in an apology letter.

One of the most fascinating parts about the apology was its examination of racism and cultural appropriation, and the descriptions of imperious power structures at the food media brands.

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Meehan's resignation may not spur a similar discussion at the LAT, but it should invite a deeper look at the behavior of the newspaper's management.

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