The Los Angeles Times food editor Peter Meehan has resigned from his post following claims of abusive behavior and the cultivation of a toxic workplace inside the food wing of the newspaper. In a series of tweets, freelance journalist and wine professional Tammie Teclemariam alleged Meehan of wrongdoing as both the editor of the LA Times and his previous role running food magazine Lucky Peach, which folded in 2017.
Teclemariam claims Meehan engaged in severely inappropriate workplace behavior including “threatening people with baroque forms of violence” and entering into “relationships with subordinates,” and even salacious, physical touch during work hours. Teclemariam included accusations she collected from other employees and freelancers levied against Meehan who wish to remain anonymous.
In a resignation note now posted on Twitter Meehan said the following:
“I’m leaving the LA Times. Tweets on Monday allege a number of things I don’t think are true, but they also compelled my staff to speak out. In my tunnel vision commitment to making the best thing we could, I lost sight of people and their feelings. This is a terrible failing on my part. I offer actual sincere non-PR apologies to all of them and to anybody who my approach to editing and management hurt. I have learned and grown over my years in the business, but not fast enough to get ahead of these failings. 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. I am proud of the people I have worked with and the things we have made together. I wish I had seen myself how others did and changed my ways, but this moment is about that: changing, challenging, and making things better.”
An internal memo from managing editor Kimi Yoshino reportedly told staff that the company “would be formally investigating the allegations” against Meehan, but the food editor offered his resignation, effective immediately.
If the name Tammie Teclemariam sounds familiar, it’s because she was the very freelancer who took former Bon Appetit editor in chief Adam Rapoport to task last month. Cries of racist behavior, including a resurfaced Brownface Halloween costume and unfair treatment toward contributors of color, by Teclemariam, were quickly corroborated by other Bon Appetit freelancers and staffers alike, resulting in Rapoport’s hasty departure.
Meehan was hired by the LA Times in 2018 in an effort to bolster the food section of California’s most widely read daily. Throughout his entire tenure, however, he maintained sole residence in New York City, a fact that baffled many in the industry. Last year, the LA Times brought back its standalone food section after a seven-year hiatus and named Meehan editor. A successor to his role has not been named.
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