Alison Roman apologizes to Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo for 'tone deaf remarks,' calls out white privilege
Alison Roman said she’s “deeply sorry” to Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo for disparaging their brands in a recent interview. Roman, a best-selling cookbook author and New York Times columnist, called her comments “stupid, careless and insensitive” in a lengthy statement on Monday. Teigen acknowledged the apology.
“I used their names disparagingly to try and distinguish myself, which I absolutely do not have an excuse for,” Roman wrote. “I need to learn, and respect, the difference between being unfiltered and honest vs. being uneducated and flippant.”
When talking recently with New Consumer, Roman said the way Teigen runs her businesses “horrifies” her.
“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,” she said. “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.”
As for the Tidying Up With Marie Kondo star, Roman declared she capitalized “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, b****, 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***!’”
In her apology, Roman said she’s learning from her mistake but is “deeply sorry” it “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,” she wrote. Roman explained she asked herself “a lot” over the weekend why she said what she said.
“Why couldn’t I express myself without tearing someone down? … I’m embarrassed I didn’t,” she continued. “Among the many uncomfortable things I’ve begun processing is the knowledge that my comments were rooted in my own insecurity. 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.”
Roman added she’s not playing the victim card and that her “insecurities don’t excuse this behavior.” She also acknowledged her “white privilege.”
“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,” she said. “The fact that 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). 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.”
Roman noted that the incident is “part of a broader, related discourse about cultural appropriation in the food world, and who gets to be successful in this space.”
The writer, who said she’s “listening” and is “sorry,” said she’s “not putting this behind me in hopes that it goes away. I need to learn from this, and I’m going to use it as motivation to do and be better.”
Roman set up an email account for readers to share “knowledge, guidance, or opinions” about how she can “more responsibly navigate these areas.” She promised to read all feedback, even if people “express their anger.”
“My apologies again to Marie and Chrissy. I’m deeply embarrassed and I’m sorry to everyone I hurt with my insensitivity,” she concluded.
Shortly after, Teigen, who took a break from Twitter over the drama, thanked Roman for the apology. She said she never expected Roman “to apologize for what you genuinely thought.”
thank u for this, @alisoneroman. To be clear, it never once crossed my mind for u to apologize for what you genuinely thought! The comments stung, but they moreso stung because they came from u! It wasn’t my usual news break of some random person hating everything about me!
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 12, 2020
Teigen went on to say she still thinks Roman is “incredibly talented” and said she feels that “in an industry that doesn’t really lend itself to supporting more than a handful of people at a time, I feel like all we have are each other!”
I still think you are incredibly talented. And in an industry that doesn’t really lend itself to supporting more than a handful of people at a time, I feel like all we have are each other!
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 12, 2020
Teigen also praised “wise” Kondo for keeping quiet during the high-profile spat and demonstrating that “less is more.”
After Roman’s interview made headlines on Friday, Teigen called the comments a “huge bummer” and said it “hit [her] hard.” The Cravings author announced over the weekend she was taking a Twitter break after the drama.
“This is what always happens. The first day, a ton of support, then the next, 1 million reasons as to why you deserved this. It never fails,” Teigen wrote.
“I really hate what this drama has caused this week,” she added. “Calling my kids Petri dish babies or making up flight manifests with my name on them to ‘Epstein island’, to justify someone else's disdain with me seems gross to me so I'm gonna take a little break.”
Read Roman’s full apology below.
I’ve thought a lot this weekend about my interview and the things I said. I know this is a lengthy note (succinctness has never been my strong suit). I appreciate you taking the time to read. pic.twitter.com/3iGAyN3c9d
— alison roman (@alisoneroman) May 11, 2020
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