Bon Appétit editor Alex Delany has apologized after a photo of a Confederate flag cake that he made in 2010 resurfaced on Twitter. A photo of the cake, which was was found on Delany’s old Tumblr, began circulating around Twitter on Tuesday following a tweet by food writer Tammie Teclemariam. In the original blog post, Delany said he had made the cake because his best friend was moving to South Carolina. The controversy comes in the wake of Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport’s resignation; Rapaport stepped down on Monday after a photo of him in brownface resurfaced on Twitter. Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It has been a week of controversies at Bon Appétit — and it’s only Tuesday. On Monday, editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport stepped down after a photo of him in brownface resurfaced. A day later, editor Alex Delany has apologized for previously making a cake decorated as the Confederate flag. A picture of the cake — which was found on Delany’s old Tumblr account “The Pantalones” — began circulating around Twitter on Tuesday morning following a tweet by food writer Tammie Teclemariam. —chez tammie (@tammieetc) June 9, 2020In the original blog post — which was posted on July 24, 2010 — Delany wrote that he had made the cake because his best friend was moving to South Carolina.
The picture of Delany’s Confederate flag cake was posted to his Tumblr in 2010.
The Confederate flag, also called “The Stars and Bars” was the official flag of the Confederate States of America, which fought in the American Civil War to defend the use of slaves. Today, the flag is controversial with many saying it’s no longer a mere representation of the American South, but a racist symbol, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
“To honor her new home, my friends and I felt the need to express some Southern heritage in cake form,” Delany wrote. “Such a glorious cake for such a sad occasion.” The “About” page on the Tumblr account confirmed that it was Delany’s blog.
The “About” page of Delany’s blog, which has since been taken down.
“My name is Alex. I’m the assistant web editor of bonappetit.com,” it read. “I have opinions. Most are foolish. Some are worthy. I like garlic knots, 10 cent dumplings, and prosciutto cotto. I ran this blog for a while. I’m back to do it again (maybe).” The last post on Delany’s blog had been from 2017. It was taken down on Tuesday, shortly after the picture of the cake began circulating on Twitter.
Delany, who is now the drinks editor at Bon Appétit, addressed the image on his personal Instagram account.
Delany apologized for the Confederate flag cake on Tuesday.
“There’s an image of a cake depicting a Confederate flag that was pulled from my Tumblr when I was 17,” he wrote on the Instagram story. “It goes without saying that this is a despicable symbol that a 17-year-old should understand. It does not reflect the values that I hold now. I condemn whoever uses or glorifies that flag. But I realize this image does reflect the lack of understanding I possessed at the time.” Delany called the image “shameful,” saying “it’s not what I am about now.” “I cannot apologize intensely enough,” he added. “I know it doesn’t cut it, but I am truly sorry. The significance of the failure is not lost on me.”
Delany said he would be donating his next paycheck to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund, as well as continuing to “donate to the charities and organizations that are fighting for progress as frequently as I can.”
Delany said he planned to donate his next paycheck to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
On the same day that the photo of Delany’s Confederate flag cake resurfaced, a vine in which he is heard using a homophobic slur also began circulating on social media. In the clip — which was first posted in March 2013 and included the caption “How to not offend gay people” — Delany looks at the camera and says, “You guys wanna see a bunch of f****** lying on top of each other?” before showing a pile of sticks. The vine was posted on Instagram by Eater staff writer Elazar Sontag, who called on Delany to resign.
“Before I found my way to food writing, people like @alex_delany were the reason I didn’t think I could build a life in restaurants and the food world,” Sontag wrote in the caption. “They made food into this hyper-masculine, deeply gendered sport that I didn’t think I could participate in as a gay kid. The underlying implication was that people like this hated my existence, that they didn’t see gay people as equal, or even worth acknowledging. That I would never be welcome.””No matter how much they ‘show up’ for queer rights now, I know they don’t respect me or any other queer people as their equal,” he added. “It’s nice to be reminded that I was right, and that this shameful behavior is always there, right below the surface. Resign @alex_delany. Today.”Delany was among the many Bon Appétit staffers who spoke out against Rapoport on Monday after Teclemariam shared the photo of him in brownface on Twitter. —chez tammie (@tammieetc) June 8, 2020The Instagram photo was first posted by Rapoport’s wife Simone Shubuck on Halloween 2013.
“#TBT me and my papi,” Shubuck wrote in the caption, tagging Rapoport’s Instagram account. She added the hashtag #boricua, which is a term that Puerto Ricans often use to identify themselves. Delany wrote on an Instagram story that he was “disgusted by the photo.”
Delany wrote that he was “disgusted” by the photo of Rapoport in brownface.
“I stand with and thank the BIPOC staffers at @bonappetitmag who have been working in a system that has made it harder for them to succeed than it has for me to succeed. I have absolutely benefitted from the system,” Delany added. And Rapoport’s photo wasn’t the only controversy to hit Bon Appétit on Monday.
Sohla El-Waylly, an assistant food editor at Bon Appétit, alleged that the company only paid white editors for video appearances on the publication’s hit YouTube channel.—Sarah Manavis (@sarahmanavis) June 8, 2020El-Waylly, who is a chef and restaurateur, revealed that she had been hired at Bon Appétit in 2019 as an assistant editor at a $50,000 salary to “assist mostly white editors with significantly less experience than me.” El-Waylly said that she had also been pushed to appear in Bon Appétit’s popular Test Kitchen videos, but was not paid for them. A Condé Nast representative told Variety that it was “untrue that Bon Appétit’s white editors are paid for appearing in videos while people of color are not.” A spokesperson told Insider that the company is “dedicated to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace.”The internet has rallied around El-Waylly, and Delany vowed on Monday that he would no longer appear in any Bon Appétit videos until “my BIPOC colleagues receive equal pay and are fairly compensated for their appearances.”
“And by change, I do not mean promises,” he added. “I mean signed contracts and cash in checking accounts.” Throughout last week, Delany also frequently posted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that have been taking place across the US in honor of George Floyd.
“Please do not just post a black square,” he wrote in one post. “Show your solidarity by doing more.” “Read and become more educated about the systems that oppress Black people in our country. Volunteer to help rebuild your community. Show up to protest, if you are able. Do something. Social media solidarity is not enough. You are not part of a movement if you are standing still.”
Delany and representatives for Condé Nast did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.