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HBO Max To Release Sitcom Inspired By ‘Multiple Scandals’ At Famous Food Magazine

Bon Appétit has been one of the most popular food magazines and online channels for cooking for quite some time now. After a slew of allegations that people of color working for Bon Appétit were unfairly treated and paid, the company lost a lot of its viewership, and now HBO is making a whole series inspired by it. 

While HBO Max is not mentioning Bon Appétit by name in the show, it does have a former worker serving as a consultant writer, and the streaming service is describing the show’s plot as “focusing on a cohort of young assistants of color who rise up to tear their cookie-cutter corporate culture apart.” 

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The series will be called Enjoy Your Meal, and Ryan Walker-Hartshorn is the former Bon Appétit employee who is working on the series as a consultant. The show claims it will “draw inspiration from the multiple media scandals of summer 2020 and today. 

Waler-Hartshorn was once the only Black employee at Bon Appétit, and served as an assistant to the former editor-and-chief Adam Rapoport. Her role in the Black Lives Matter Movement this summer is what led to a reckoning of Bon Appétit as a publication, in fact, a photo of Rapoport was released last summer in which the former editor was shown wearing black face. Waler-Hartshorn left the publication in August 2020. 

“I feel so blessed, humbled, honored, and freaking excited to be on this journey with these incredible women! Time to eat,” she tweeted out this week. 

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Amy Aniobi will be the writer for the series, she’s also known for her role as writer and executive producer on the Emmy-award winning show Insecure, also available on HBO Max. 

According to reports, “the announcement comes after a four part investigative series into Bon Appétit’s failings on diversity and inclusion by the podcast Reply All – The Test Kitchen – was cancelled, following allegations that some members of the podcast’s production team had contributed to a hostile workplace environment that one former colleague described as a ‘nearly identical toxic dynamic’ to the story they were reporting on.”

Within the first two episodes of The Test Kitchen, before it was cancelled, the hosts examined how Bon Appétit “sidelined” their culturally/linguistically diverse staff throughout its high profile relaunch in the years 2011-2018, and put all the white staff members at the forefront of the branding. 

After Rapoport resigned in June due to the black face photo, a multitude of other revelations regarding Bon Appétit’s unfair treatment of its staff members of color began unfolding, such as major pay disparities between white and non-white staff. By October of last year a majority of the magazine’s highest profile staff had quit due to the lack of progress shown within the pay disparities and other issues.

HBO Announces Four-Part Docuseries On Woody Allen Allegations 

The story of Woody Allen and the multitude of allegations made against him throughout the past few decades has been one of the largest scandals in the entertainment industry. Now, one of the most controversial figures in Hollywood will have his life, and all of the allegations made throughout his career, explored in a four-part HBO docuseries called ‘Allen v Farrow.’

The series will use home movies, police evidence, court documents, and never-before-heard audio tapes that will expose and explore the 1992 allegation of sexual abuse against his seven-year-old daughter Dylan Farrow who he had with his then wife, Mia Farrow. The series will also discuss Allen’s marriage to Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, the years of controversy after and how Allen was able to remain so relevant after all of it. 

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The four-part series was directed by Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy; the filmmakers behind the documentary film ‘The Hunting Ground,” which explored on campus sexual assault cover ups throughout America, as well as ‘On The Record,’ which discussed the longstanding allegations of sexual assault against hip-hop mogul Russel Simmons. 

‘Allen v Farrow’ will also feature exclusive interviews with Dylan and Mia Farrow, as well as Ronan Farrow; Mia’s son. Other interviews in the series include the New Yorker journalist, family friend Carly Simon, prosecutor Frank Maco, relatives, investigators, experts, and eyewitnesses. The series will also act to explore Allen’s film’s, and how public allegations of sex crimes effect a notable mans image in Hollywood. 

Back in 2017 Dylan Farrow famously wrote an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times which begged the question “Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?” After the article was published several prominent Hollywood figures publicly vowed to never work with Allen, including Greta Gerwig, Colin Firth, and Mira Sorvino. 

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Back in 2019, Allen sued Amazon after the company terminated a film deal worth $68 million following controversial statements made about Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement in general. Allen claimed that the movement was “very sad for everyone involved, and you don’t want it to lead to a witch-hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.” 

Allen has continued to direct films and deny any and all allegations made against him. Back in May 2020 he discussed his memoir and lack of acknowledgement over all of his past allegations: “It doesn’t pay to sue. Do I really want to be a tabloid fodder for two years and go to court? And do I really care?” 

‘Allen v Farrow’ is set to premiere on HBO Max on February 21st.