'Top Chef's' Tom Colicchio responds to criticism over plantation setting: 'We certainly didn't mean to disrespect anyone'

THR Staff


Tom Colicchio, the lead judge on Bravo's competition series Top Chef, has taken to Twitter to defend his show from critics calling the show insensitive for shooting at a plantation.

The first episode of Top Chef: Charleston filmed a challenge at Boone Hall Plantation, now a local landmark that was once an active cotton plantation. Twitter users criticized the show for its location choice, calling it "insensitive," while some compared it to shooting a TV show at Auschwitz.

See images of the "Top Chef" host:

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The Sudden Death Challenge, between two competitors each trying to keep their place on the show, also included a black man and a white man competing against one another onsite, which angered several viewers further. One tweeted: "Who thought the idea of a white guy vs a black guy on a plantation was a good idea??"

Colicchio responded to several tweets, apologizing for the show's insensitivity and defending the choice saying "I would think it odd if we ignored Charleston's history," arguing that plantations and slavery are a part of that history.

He also suggested that people keep watching the series, advising one viewer to "Keep in mind we could have cut around the location."

See some of his responses below:

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