Published On: Wed, Jul 1st, 2020

Peter Meehan Resigns as Los Angeles Times Food Editor


Peter Meehan, the editor of The Los Angeles Times food section, announced Wednesday afternoon that he was stepping down.

His resignation comes after a series of tweets posted on Monday by Tammie Teclemariam, a freelance food-and-drinks writer, alleging a pattern of verbal abuse and workplace harassment by Mr. Meehan.

In a statement on Twitter, Mr. Meehan wrote that Ms. Teclemariam’s messages “alleged a number of things I don’t think are true, but they also compelled my staff to speak out.”

He continued: “In my tunnel-vision commitment to making the best thing we could, I lost sight of people and their feelings. That is a terrible failing on my part.”

He declined a request for comment.

On Twitter, Ms. Teclemariam (who has contributed to Wirecutter, which is owned by The New York Times) wrote that there had been multiple human-resources complaints against Mr. Meehan. She also alleged that Mr. Meehan verbally abused employees during his time as the editorial director of Lucky Peach, a food magazine started by Mr. Meehan, Chris Ying and the chef David Chang that stopped publication in 2017.

The Twitter thread also pointed out that Mr. Meehan continued to live in New York while working as food editor for the California paper.

In his statement, Mr. Meehan offered “non-PR apologies” to the people he had hurt. “I’m sorry to everybody that I’ve let down directly or indirectly and the last thing I’ve ever wanted to be is some sort of institutionalized problem,” he wrote.

Hillary Manning, a spokeswoman for the paper, wrote in an email that it was “simply untrue” that the human resources department had received multiple complaints about him.

“Any and all allegations received by the company are taken seriously,” Ms. Manning wrote. “The matter will be thoroughly reviewed.”

She also disputed Ms. Teclemariam’s claim that his salary was $300,000. “That is a wildly inflated number,” she wrote.

Mr. Meehan’s departure is the most recent in a wave of resignations at the top of food media. In early June, Adam Rapoport, resigned as editor in chief of Bon Appétit, after Ms. Teclemariam posted a 2004 photo of him wearing a stereotypically Puerto Rican costume. His departure has prompted a broader conversation about race at the magazine’s parent company, Condé Nast.

More recently, John T. Edge, the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, has faced calls to step down.

Mr. Meehan’s departure comes as The Los Angeles Times is being accused a broad pattern of institutional racism. In a meeting last week, staff members told upper management that it had failed to adequately hire, promote or retain staff members of color. The meeting came after staff members started using the hashtag #BlackAtLAT to share personal testimonials.

Mr. Meehan, who has written for The New York Times, was also a producer of three shows developed by Mr. Chang, including “Ugly Delicious,” which aired in 2018, the same year Mr. Meehan joined The Los Angeles Times as a contributing editor. In 2019, the paper revived its food section — which had not been a stand-alone section since 2012 — and named him its editor. No replacement has been named.





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