Peter Meehan, the food editor of The Los Angeles Times, is departing amid verbal abuse and sexual harassment allegations.
He made the announcement on Twitter, two days after claims were made on the same social media platform by Tammie Teclemariam, a freelance food and drinks writer. She also found and reshared the brown face photograph of former Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport. Alongside allegations of a discriminatory workplace environment for people of color, it led to his resignation.
Meehan, who joined the L.A. Times in 2018 as contributing editor before being named food editor and getting his own pull-out section, wrote that while he doesn’t think a number of the allegations are true, they compelled his staff to speak out.
“In my tunnel-vision commitment to making the best thing we could, I lost sight of people and their feelings. That is a terrible failing on my part,” he further explained. “I offer actual sincere non-p.r. apologies to all of them and to anybody who my approach to editing and management hurt.”
Teclemariam had collated a number of “traumatic” testimonies from people who have worked for Meehan over the years. Many tweets detailed his temper in the workplace, as well as sexual harassment claims. Some of these alleged incidents took place at Lucky Peach, an independent food magazine he cofounded with restaurateur David Chang. It was shuttered in 2017.
Other tweets questioned why he was allegedly on a $300,000 salary when the L.A. Times has had to make a number of cuts and why he continued to live in New York. As first reported by WWD, in April the newspaper furloughed a number of employees not in editorial, while some editorial employees and managers were hit with pay cuts and all staff will no longer receive a match to 401(k) savings accounts.
A spokesperson for the L.A. Times insisted his salary was lower than this.
“Peter Meehan has resigned his position as L.A. Times Food editor. Earlier this week, there were a number of assertions made via social media about Meehan. Among them was the claim that the human resources department had received multiple complaints about him, which was simply untrue,” they said. “It was also alleged that he was paid a $300,000 annual salary. That is a wildly inflated number. Meehan decided to offer his resignation and we have accepted it. Any and all allegations received by the company are taken seriously. The matter will be thoroughly reviewed.”