Bon Appétit Video Host Carla Lalli Music Quits Amid Mass Exodus Over Diversity and Equality

Carla Lalli Music becomes the latest talent to leave the Condé Nast video brand, saying she was moved to “do the right thing” as BIPOC colleagues left

Last Updated: August 12, 2020 @ 11:53 AM

Carla Lalli Music is the latest Bon Appétit video star to step back from the embattled brand amid accusations of unfair pay and treatment of contributors and staff of color.

“I am leaving Bon Appétit video. I will miss doing something I loved with people I still love,” tweeted Music, who added that she hopes to remain the editor at large of the Condé Nast brand’s editorial offering. “In June my coworker, Sohla El-Waylly, bravely spoke out about her salary and the racist practices that sidelined and tokenized her as a Bon Appétit video host. Her statements ushered in a torrent of information about failures at Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE).”

El-Waylly, along with Priya Krishna Rick Martinez, was the first of the stars to step away from Bon Appétit’s videos on Aug. 6. who have stepped away in recent days. Gaby Melian and Molly Baz then followed, saying they will no longer appear in video content over the lack of diversity and fair contracts.

Music wrote Wednesday that payment for video hosts “overwhelmingly favored white talent” and “certainly benefited” her, too. As the YouTube channel grew, she wrote, her “BIPOC colleagues had been sidelined” and she felt she did not “do nearly enough” to check her privilege or help elevate their voices.

“In June, along with my colleagues, I refused to make videos until fair and equitable pay, transparency around how ideas were greenlit, and diversity on both sides of the camera were addressed,” she went on. “For weeks, contract negotiations between CNE and Rick Martinez, Priya Krishna, Gaby Melian and Sohla ensued. I hoped that the combined leverage of all the hosts along with others who were applying pressure from within would help for commitments and guarantee change.”

She added, “Somehow, it wasn’t enough,” accusing CNE of being “unable or unwilling to articulate specific, measurable goals about diversity and inclusion among BA hosts, crew, show topics, or recipe selection.”

Condé Nast sent a memo to BA staff last Friday stating that the company would not be willing to break its new standardized video pay rates for salaried and freelance staff.

“We are planning for BA video production to begin in September with some returning talent, in addition to new contributors which we’ll be announcing in the coming week,” global HR officer Stan Duncan wrote in the memo. “We will be using this time to reset and work with the teams and ensure diversity in front of and behind the camera for BA video. We are sorry to see some of our video contributors part ways, but we feel that we cannot break the standard compensation rates we’ve set across our teams now in order to keep them, as some have been requesting.”

Reached for comment, a spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that video production is still set to resume in September.

“BA video production will resume in September with returning talent and new contributors to be announced soon and will be informed by new leadership including Sonia Chopra, Agnes Chu and the new EIC,” said the spokesperson.