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Bon Appétit‘s unraveling is getting the scripted treatment.
HBO Max is developing a new comedy series, Enjoy Your Meal, that satirically examines the toxic culture of the food media industry. Per the logline, the half-hour show 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.”
Former Bon Appétit employee Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, who used to be former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport’s assistant and the only black woman on staff, will serve as a consultant on the series. Amy Aniobi, an Insecure writer and executive producer who has an overall deal at HBO, will pen the script. Aniobi will also executive produce Enjoy Your Meal, along with The Kids Are All Right‘s Galt Niederhoffer and Monica Villarreal for Authentic Management Productions and record producer Drew Dixon, the primary subject of the HBO Max documentary On the Record.
Bon Appétit first came under scrutiny last summer, when a photo of Rapoport in brownface surfaced, ultimately leading to his ousting. Staffers alleged that his behavior was indicative of larger cultural issues at the magazine, which they say fostered racial discrimination. Assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly claimed that she had been used in “as a display of diversity” in Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen” videos and that she wasn’t paid for several of her on-camera appearances. She and other “Test Kitchen” stars departed, citing unsuccessful efforts to negotiate for more equitable pay.
Walker-Hartshorn, meanwhile, revealed to Business Insider that she was paid a base salary of $35,300 with no increases for nearly three years, and that when she asked Rapoport for a raise, he told her, “Well, maybe you should consider that this is not the right job for you.” While in the role, she had to clean Rapoport’s golf clubs, fetch his son’s passport and teach his wife how to use Google Calendar. “He treats me like the help,” she said at the time. Walker-Hartshorn left Bon Appétit in August, writing that in her next chapter, she wanted to “continue championing Black stories and Black people — wherever that may be.”
Aniobi is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Dixon is repped by UTA.
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