Alison Roman Issues Formal Apology to Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo for Her 'Tone Deaf Remarks'
"I used their names disparagingly to try to distinguish myself, which I absolutely do not have an excuse for," the food columnist said in a statement
Roman, 34, issued a lengthy mea culpa on her social media account to the two women on Monday, writing: "I need to formally apologize to Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo. I used their names disparagingly to try to distinguish myself, which I absolutely do not have an excuse for. It was stupid, careless and insensitive. I need to learn, and respect, the difference between being unfiltered and honest vs. being uneducated and flippant."
She said in the statement, "The burden is not on them (or anyone else) to teach me, and I’m deeply sorry that my learning came at Chrissy and Marie’s expense. They’ve worked extremely hard to get to where they are and both deserve better than my tone deaf remarks."
Reflecting on her controversial comments, which included a claim that Teigen's cooking website was a "content farm" and Kondo, 35, had "sold out" in an interview with by The New Consumer, Roman said she wished she had chosen to "express myself without tearing someone down."
"Among the many uncomfortable things I’ve begun processing is the knowledge that my comments were rooted in my own security. My inability to appreciate my own success without comparing myself to and knocking down others — in this case two accomplished women — is something I recognize I most definitely struggle with, and am working to fix. I don’t want to be a person like that," she explained.
Roman also accepted criticism that her comments could have been perceived as racially charged, writing in her apology, "I’m not the victim here, and my insecurities don’t excuse this behavior. I’m a white woman who has and will continue to benefit from white privilege and I recognize that makes what I said even more inexcusable and hurtful."
"The fact it didn’t occur to me that I had singled out two Asian women is one hundred percent a function of my privilege (being blind to racial insensitivities is a discriminatory luxury)," she continued. "I know that our culture frequently goes after women, especially women of color, and I’m ashamed to have contributed to that. I want to lift up and support women of color, my actions indicated the opposite."
In issuing a formal apology to Teigen, 34, and Kondo, the New York Times food columnist said it was a way to "acknowledge that this is a part of a broader, related discourse about cultural appropriation in the food world, and who gets to be successful in this space."
"I want anyone reading who has been hurt by my actions or comments (past of present) to know that I am listening and I am sorry. I commit to being open and receptive to this conversation as it continues and to accept criticism that is coming my way and to try to do better," she wrote.
Roman went on to admit that she "messed up" and she will use this experience "as motivation to do and be better."
"It is no one’s obligation to accept my apology or to help me improve," she wrote, welcoming readers to "share their knowledge, guidance, or opinions" on how to "navigate these areas" by emailing her.
"I know some will use this as an opportunity to express their anger. I hope many will share advice. I will read it all," she noted.
"I’m grateful to those who have already begun having difficult, important conversations with my in private. I will do my best to remain honest and not shy away from discussing these things in public down the road — though I intend in the future to keep innocent parties out of it."
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The food writer ended the statement with another apology to Teigen and Kondo, writing, "I’m deeply embarrassed and I’m sorry to everyone I hurt with my insensitivity, especially to my friends and colleagues who are being held accountable for my ignorance that was not their own. Thanks for reading."
Roman came under fire last week when she called out Teigen's business in an article published by The New Consumer, telling the outlet, "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. But like, who’s laughing now? Because she’s making a ton of f—— money."
In the same interview, Roman also said Kondo "decided to capitalize on her fame and make stuff that you can buy, that is completely antithetical to everything she’s ever taught you… I’m like, damn, bitch, you f—— just sold out immediately! Someone’s like 'you should make stuff,' and she’s like, 'okay, slap my name on it, I don’t give a s—!' "
On Friday, Teigen tweeted that Roman's remarks "hit her hard" and defended her culinary website, Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, explaining that she launched the page as something independent from husband John Legend's projects.
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"I started cravings because I wanted something for myself. I wanted something John didn't buy, I wanted something to do that calmed me, made me happy and made others happy, too. Cravings isn't a 'machine' or 'farmed content' - it's me and 2 other women," she wrote.
"I didn't 'sell out' by making my dreams come true. To have a cookware line, to get to be a part of that process start to finish, to see something go from sketch to in my hands, I love that," the Cravings author continued. "to see that thing in my hand being used by people around the world makes me so happy. Watching a company grow makes me happy. I get joy from it and lots of people do."
"There are many days I cry very hard because cravings, the site, is our baby we love to pump content onto. we do this work ourselves, and there is NO monetary gain yet. it is just work work work and the reward is you liking it. so to be called a sellout....hooooo it hurts," Teigen added.
"This 'farm' you think of doesn't exist. I am the farm. I am the cows the horses the pigs," she quipped. "anyhow. now that that's out there, I guess we should probably unfollow each other @alisoneroman."
At the time, Roman responded in a tweet: "Hi @chrissyteigen! I sent an email but also wanted to say here that I’m genuinely sorry I caused you pain with what I said," she tweeted. "I shouldn’t have used you /your business (or Marie’s!) as an example to show what I wanted for my own career- it was flippant, careless and I’m so sorry."
"Being a woman who takes down other women is absolutely not my thing, and don't think it's yours, either (I obviously failed to effectively communicate that). I hope we can meet one day, I think we'd probably get along."