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Alison Roman put on ‘temporary leave’ by NYT after Chrissy Teigen, Marie Kondo remarks

(L-R):  Susan Korn, Alison Roman and Chrissy Teigen.
(L-R): Susan Korn, Alison Roman and Chrissy Teigen. Getty Images

Chef and food writer Alison Roman has been put on temporary leave from her New York Times (NYT) biweekly column after her remakes about Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo earlier this month.

A spokesperson for the Times confirmed to the Washington Post that Roman’s column was on “temporary leave” on Tuesday.

Roman’s remarks about Teigen and Kondo came in an interview with New Consumer published on May 7.

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“What Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me,” Roman said at the time. “She had a successful cookbook. And then it was like: Boom, line at Target. Boom, now she has an Instagram page that has over a million followers where it’s just, like, people running a content farm for her. That horrifies me and it’s not something that I ever want to do. I don’t aspire to that. But like, who’s laughing now? Because she’s making a ton of f—ing money.”

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In regards to Kondo, Roman said: “Like the idea that when Marie Kondo decided to capitalize on her fame and make stuff that you can buy, that is completely antithetical to everything she’s ever taught you.”

“I’m like, damn, b—-, you f—ing just sold out immediately!”

The food columnist received backlash on social media for her criticism of Kondo and Teigen after the interview was published.

Teigen took to Twitter after she read Roman’s comments and said she was disappointed because she’s always been a fan of hers.

“I genuinely loved everything about Alison. Was jealous she got to have a book with food on the cover instead of a face!” Teigen tweeted. “I’ve made countless NYT recipes she’s created, posting along the way.

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“I don’t think I’ve ever been so bummed out by the words of a fellow food-lover. I just had no idea I was perceived that way, by her especially. And Marie, too. Marie is awesome.”

“It has been crappy to deal with this all day but I couldn’t not say something,” she wrote in a followup tweet. “I know the actual tears I put into the work I do and it’s really hard to see someone try to completely invalidate it. Someone I really liked.”

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Kondo did not respond to Roman’s criticisms but the food critic did write a formal apology to her and Teigen.

“I’ve thought a lot this weekend about my interview and the things I said,” Roman tweeted with an apology letter on May 11. “I know this is a lengthy note (succinctness has never been my strong suit). I appreciate you taking the time to read.”

She apologized for using “their names disparagingly to try and distinguish myself, which I absolutely do not have an excuse for.”

“It was stupid, careless and insensitive,” she said. “I need to learn, and respect, the difference between being unfiltered and honest vs. being uneducated and flippant.

“Why couldn’t I express myself without tearing someone down? I definitely could have, and I’m embarrassed I didn’t.”

Roman said she was not the victim and was a “white woman who has and will continue to benefit from white privilege.”

She added that she recognized how “that makes what I said even more inexcusable and harmful.”

“The fact that it didn’t occur to me that I had singled out two Asian women is one hundred per cent a function of my privilege (being blind to racial insensitivities is a discriminatory luxury),” she said. “I know that our culture frequently goes after women, especially women of colour, and I’m ashamed to have contributed to that.”

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Teigen responded to Roman’s apology letter and thanked her.

She said it “never once crossed” her mind that Roman would apologize for what she “genuinely thought.”

“The comments stung, but they moreso stung because they came from u!” Teigen wrote. “It wasn’t my usual news break of some random person hating everything about me!”

“I don’t agree with the pile-on, ppl waiting with bated breath for apologies, deciding if that apology is good, the ppl who say u were right & never needed to in the first place – there are so many different types in this kind of situation & tbh (to be honest), I just want it to be over,” she wrote in a followup tweet.

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“I think we are alike in so many ways. I remember the exact time I realized I wasn’t allowed to say whatever popped in my head — that I couldn’t just say things in the way that so many of my friends were saying,” Teigen tweeted. “Before, I never really knew where I stood in the industry, in the world.”

Teigen added that she still thinks Roman is “incredibly talented.”

“And in an industry that doesn’t really lend itself to supporting more than a handful of people at a time, I feel like all we have are each other!” she wrote.

“And honestly, for the past few days, every time I saw a shallot I wanted to cry, but I do appreciate this and hopefully we can all be better and learn from the dumb s–t we have all said and done,” Teigen concluded.

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Now, Teigen has responded to the decision to place Roman on “temporary leave” from the NYT.

“I hope we can laugh about it one day but I’m not happy with the NYT leave so she def can’t laugh about it yet. It just sucks in every way,” Teigen tweeted after someone asked if their beef has been squashed.

Teigen also responded to someone who suggested that others may think she was responsible for the leave.

“No, I mean I see how it can come out that way, but it’s more of a ‘omg her power’ type of thing,” a Twitter user wrote to Teigen. “Really do need to reiterate that it’s not really been about you or Alison, for me. I’ve been raging at the NYT opinion writers for… years.

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“Alright I will believe you in that, as it is easy. But I very publicly forgave her and am getting very much blamed for her leave,” Teigen wrote. “And you have a lot to say on your timeline about me. Which is fine. I’m really tired.”

Roman has not publicly addressed her temporary leave from the NYT.

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