Over the years, speaking out against racial and cultural issues has slowly evolved into outrage and cancel culture. It’s not just Hollywood celebrities and politicians who are victims; even New York Times food columnists can’t be spared.
Alison Roman, Food columnist and cookbook author was suspended from the NYT after she criticized Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen for branding their kitchenware lines. Essentially, she said she would never want to use her name to sell products, but somehow this came off as racist towards Asians.
Could Alison have made her point in a more sensitive way? Sure, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a point. About Chrissy. Yes, I’m going to single her out and I’ll explain why. I
Marie made a career out of helping people organize their homes so it makes sense that she would sell stuff for your home. Chrissy, on the other hand, was a model but only became famous after marrying John Legend. She continued to garner attention by roasting people on Twitter (or “hilarious Tweets” as Buzzfeed would say).She then wrote Cravings, followed by Cravings 2, and they were both an instant hit. The reviews were so good that even I considered buying one the supposedly unique Asian fusion recipes, After all, I love all Asian food so why not break my personal rule of not supporting celebrity cookbooks? Then I remembered that Chrissy’s cookbooks and her Target kitchenware line are vanity projects.
There have been countless celebrity wives who have done the same. Think Victoria Beckham, Ayesha Curry and Kristin Cavallari, to name a few. They all created these brands after marrying rich men so they can pretend to have a career. If they were really passionate about fashion or cooking they would have started companies before getting married. So in other words, without their husbands’ money.
Let me be clear. As a woman I am all for female empowerment and supporting other women’s success. But just because you support someone doesn’t mean you can’t call a spade a spade, and I think that’s exactly what Alison Roman did. To be fair, if she was going to call out celebrities turned lifestyle gurus she really should have included Gwenyth Paltrow.
Bottom line: Alison wanted to express her own career aspirations but misspoke. Maybe her apology isn’t considered good enough but she certainly doesn’t deserve to be suspended (which translates to fired) over a poorly worded opinion.