Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

HBO Max to mine some comedy out of the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen implosion

Illustration for article titled HBO Max to mine some comedy out of the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen implosion
Photo: JP Yim/Getty Images for Band of Outsiders

It’s been a little less than a year since a major implosion at the Conde Nast-owned food site Bon Appétit—spurred on by a photo of editor Adam Rapoport in blackface, which sparked a wider conversation about diversity (or lack thereof) at the company that led to a number of high-profile editors and staffers departing—caught the internet’s attention, blowing apart the image of collegiate cookery fostered by the brand’s Test Kitchen series of videos. The issues at Bon Appétit were, in fact, so pervasive that they even managed to affect a project merely trying to cover the drama, as the popular Reply All podcast faced its own reckoning on diversity and inclusion earlier this year, after attempting to do a series on what happened at the food site. It’s potent stuff, is all we’re saying.

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And maybe, also, hilarious? That’s the hope apparently being fostered by HBO Max, with THR reporting that the streaming service has started development on a new comedy series titled Enjoy Your Meal, focused on satirizing the hypocrisy of the food media world, and featuring contributions/consultations from Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, Rapoport’s former assistant, and the only Black woman on the company’s staff at the time this all went down. Walker-Hartshorn was one of several voices that spoke up about issues at the company after the photos of Rapoport surfaced, highlighting a workplace in which people of color were frequently discriminated against, and where Rapoport fostered cultural inequalities from the EIC’s office on down. All of which will, presumably, get a slightly less institutionally depressing spin with the show, which is being written and executive produced by Insecure’s Amy Aniobi. And, hey: The logline even has a fun little food pun in it, noting that the 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.” Cookies! That’s fun.