Alison Roman Defended After NYT Column Was Placed On ‘Temporary Leave’ Amid Backlash For Comments About Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo
Alison Roman is not having a good month, and now some of her fans are coming out to defend her as the fallout from her extremely tone-deaf and mean-spirited attacks on Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo have real-world consequences. The New York Times writer’s food column has now been placed on “temporary leave” despite her apologies to both women. While many are cheering the move as appropriate in the face of Roman’s remarks, even Teigen herself is cautioning against “cancel culture.”
As fans and critics alike rush to comment on the latest part of this ongoing saga, is the reflection on what went wrong taking place?
Alison Roman insulted Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo
In an interview with The New Consumer, Roman had the opportunity to build even more visibility and fans for her growing food business. The cookbook author and food writer has tremendously popular recipes and is well-known for her fun, easygoing vibe in cooking instruction videos. She definitely had the ingredients for a successful career in the “lifestyle influencer” category, a coveted role that has brought many people lucrative careers following their passions.
When asked about her goals and aspirations, however, Roman made it clear she didn’t have her sights set on this kind of work. Rather than leaving it at that, she took the opportunity to attack two women who she sees as having “sold out” by using their influence to profit from lifestyle-oriented products and advice. When talking about Kondo — a home organization guru — Roman crassly remarked, “I’m like, damn, b**ch, you f**king just sold out immediately!”
For Teigen, who is arguably more similar to Roman since they both write cookbooks, Roman had more harsh words: “Like, what Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me. 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.”
Chrissy Teigen’s fans defended her against Alison Roman
For anyone who has a passing knowledge of Teigen, it seemed likely that she would come out swinging against these insults. However, Teigen herself expressed mostly sadness and hurt rather than anger. It was her fans who took issue with Roman’s cruel remarks. In fact, many people started to connect the dots between Roman’s uncalled-for comments — which specifically singled out two women of color amongst dozens of lifestyle bloggers and influencers — and existing criticisms about Roman’s culturally insensitive practices.
As Vox explains, part of the controversy is that Roman’s recipes tend to take Asian and Middle Eastern food practices and “gentrify” them, erasing the reference to the cultures these dishes grew from and making them more attractive to a primarily white audience. One particular example is Roman’s recipe for “the stew.” Roxana Hadadi explained the problem with the labeling of the recipe: “Roman made herself a curry and refused to acknowledge that she had made a curry, and this is colonialism as cuisine. This is exactly what people have been grumbling about — the people who often aren’t included in the highest influencer echelons, as Roman now is.”
Alison Roman’s fans are upset about the writing leave
Now that Roman is facing more than just tweets as backlash, her fans are coming to her defense. As reported by Newsweek, the New York Times has confirmed that Roman’s column is “on temporary leave,” and that has sparked a whole new wave of anger and frustration. As Roman’s fans flocked to Teigen angry that the star had posted about Roman’s original comments and drawn attention to them, Teigen made it clear that she didn’t ask for the column to be suspended and didn’t want to participate in cancel culture.
Meanwhile, Roman’s fans are saying that she merely voiced her opinion and that there is nothing to “forgive” or punish. The entire thing has led to even more attacks on Teigen, so many that she temporarily made her Twitter private because of the overwhelming amount of hate from trolls defending Roman.
Teigen’s initial post about the comments merely voiced how disappointing it was to see someone she respected sling mud at her. Roman apologized for the comments, but many saw her acts as racist and embedded in a culturally insensitive history. Teigen has made it clear that she accepted the apology, but this will likely be a moment that defines the rest of Roman’s career.