Condé Nast launches investigation into a top executive who staff say ignored their calls to diversify Bon Appétit Test Kitchen videos
Condé Nast has launched an investigation into vice president Matt Duckor, five sources confirmed to Business Insider. He is the head of lifestyle and style programming at the publisher. In a Business Insider investigation published on Tuesday, current and former staffers said that Duckor failed to include non-white talent in Bon Appétit's video content. Do you have more stories from inside media you want to tell? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Condé Nast has launched an investigation into Matt Duckor, who is the head of lifestyle and style programming at the publisher. Five Bon Appétit staffers told Business Insider that interim editor-in-chief Amanda Shapiro shared that Duckor is under investigation after several homophobic and racist tweets of his have surfaced. One tweet reads, "tough day meeting with loads of hot Asian women with Anna not being able to say anything about you checking them out... yeah, rough." In a Business Insider investigation published on Tuesday, current and former staffers said that Duckor failed to include non-white talent in Bon Appétit's video content. At Bon Appétit, the leadership team has been under fire since this weekend, after a photo surfaced of former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport showing him dressed in a Halloween costume intended to be stereotypically Puerto Rican. Many called his costume "brownface," which Rapoport previously denied. In text messages to Business Insider on June 9, he said: "On the record: I was not wearing makeup or face coloring of any sort in that photograph." Shapiro and Duckor did not respond to a Business Insider request for comment. Condé Nast declined to comment on the internal investigation.
diversity is just a joke to @mattduckor and leadership at @bonappetit and @CondeNast Matt must step down from his leadership roles to ensure BIPOC at the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen are paid for their work and so real diversity can happen at Condé. https://t.co/PmxBemNsgu pic.twitter.com/MEPCECzWhh — noah (@noahadamz) June 9, 2020
Duckor, who is a vice president at Condé Nast, heads video for Bon Appétit, along with Condé Nast brands Architectural Digest and Vogue. Video has become a cash cow for the struggling media company in recent years. Current Bon Appétit contributor Priya Krishna and Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, who is the assistant to the editor-in-chief, said they had repeatedly expressed concerns to key leadership, including Rapoport and Duckor, about the lack of diversity on the masthead, in the magazine, and on video. "My concerns were acknowledged, but I witnessed little to no action on this," Krishna said in an email to Business Insider. "Most big decision-making meetings continue to be dominated by white staff." A representative from Condé Nast said the company was "listening and are taking seriously the concerns raised by our Bon Appétit team members." To that effect, the representative said the company was "accelerating" its Diversity and Inclusion report, to publish this summer, and a pay-equity analysis, to publish at the end of 2020. The joint staffs of Bon Appétit and Epicurious released a statement apologizing for the brands' "toxic, top-down culture." The statement said people of color would be "prioritized" for the next editor-in-chief, that anti-racism training would be implemented, and that it would address pay inequities. A petition with more than 5,000 signatures from Bon Appétit readers is calling for Duckor's resignation.
Alyse Whitney, who was an associate editor from 2016 to 2019, told Business Insider that Duckor repeatedly dismissed her when she offered her skills as on-camera video talent. Whitney had experience hosting food videos for the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. She described an incident in 2018 in which she pitched and produced a project featuring Ina Garten as a guest editor. Whitney had cooked with Garten, the Food Network star, for the package, and wrote around 10 pieces of content for it. "I emailed him and other video staff on an email chain submitting myself for the video and then added that the Test Kitchen video talent lacked diversity," Whitney told Business Insider. "He ignored the diversity comment and replied, 'Carla will do it. Thanks.'" The video team led by Duckor instead had Carla Lalli-Music, then the brand's food director, cook with Garten for the Test Kitchen video. Whitney later pushed back on Duckor's choice, explaining that her on-camera experience made her a good choice and that the Test Kitchen lacked diversity. Whitney is Korean-American. Duckor allegedly responded, "Well, we have Priya," referring to Krishna, the Indian-American contributor at Bon Appétit. That attitude continues, according to contributor Rick Martinez. On Wednesday, Duckor called Martinez, according to Martinez's Instagram Story, and confirmed later to Business Insider. Duckor apologized to Martinez for his racist and homophobic comments. "I asked him if, in the future, his children used that language, what he would do?" Martinez wrote on Instagram. "The first thing he said was 'be supportive like my parents have been to me.' WRONG ANSWER." He added, "You teach them that it is WRONG AND HURTFUL and that you NEVER USE THOSE WORDS." Do you have more stories from inside media you want to tell? Email email@example.com.SEE ALSO: Bon Appétit's editor in chief just resigned — but staffers of color say there's a 'toxic' culture of microaggressions and exclusion that runs far deeper than one man Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
More like this (3)
Dawn Davis, who will become one of the few Black top editors in Condé Nast’s history,...Dawn Davis, who will become one of the few Black top editors in Condé Nast’s history, will oversee a brand where many workers have complained of discrimination.
Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner....Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Please subscribe to Business Insider here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday. Hi everyone! Matt is off today, so this is deputy executive editor Olivia Oran filling in. We rolled out an exciting project this past week where readers can search for pitch decks from over 150...