In June 2020, news broke that Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport had resigned from his position amid backlash over his alleged treatment of people of color on his staff. Now, the news has broken that three Bon Appétit Test Kitchen stars are quitting the video series.
In simultaneous statements released today on social media, Priya Krishna, Sohla El-Waylly, and Rick Martinez all announced that they are leaving the publication’s enormously popular video series.
The decision comes after negotiations with Condé Nast Entertainment failed.
According to Priya Krishna, the decision for her and her colleagues to leave came after negotiations with Condé Nast Entertainment for more equitable pay (which the company’s video leadership promised) failed to be made. Priya claimed that the promises made were just “lip service.” In a post on Twitter, she calls the past few months “disappointing and insulting.”
“The contract I received was nowhere near equitable,” she added, “and actually would potentially allow for me to make even less than I do currently.”
Rick Martinez also confirmed his new salary would be a pay cut.
Rick Martinez told Business Insider that the contract he was offered would’ve been a pay cut. “After five weeks of contract negotiations,” Rick wrote on Instagram, “it is clear that I will not get a fair pay rate nor will I get a comparable number of appearances to my colleagues in the test kitchen. Nor would anyone share with me the specifics of the diversity and inclusivity initiatives in video that they claim to be working on.”
"We are worth more and we need to recognize that. Our value is defined by us, not them," he wrote. "And even in a pandemic, during an economic recession, after I just closed on a house, I could not sign that contract. My happiness and self-worth are more important to me than returning to the test kitchen."
He also said that contracts for some white Test Kitchen employees guarantee up to 60 video appearances while his contract only had 10. He could also not ignore that he, Priya, and Sohla all happen to be people of color.
Sohla El-Waylly told Business Insider, “Condé is a bit conservative … Maybe they’ll do it in five years after someone else makes it cool.”
Rick Martinez is leaving Condé Nast, however, Priya and Sohla will stay on and work on Bon Appétit’s editorial side. Sohla wrote on her Instagram Story that she'll continue to "develop fun recipes and stories."
Condé Nast responded to the public comments made by the former 'Test Kitchen' stars.
Once word got out that three BIPOC stars from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen were leaving due to failed contract negotiations, many began to call out Condé Nast for their racism.
A spokesman for Condé Nast said in a statement: “We pay all our employees fairly, and in accordance with their role and experience. Our pay practices are in line with industry standards. To suggest that we are paying individuals differently based on race, gender or any other reason simply isn’t true.”