Bon Appétit's editor in chief resigned Monday, thanks in part to a Halloween costume he donned 16 years ago, the AP reports. Adam Rapoport and wife Simone Shubuck "dressed as derogatory Puerto Rican stereotypes," per the New York Times, and Shubuck posted a "throwback Thursday" photo of the costumes on Instagram in 2013 along with a caption referring to Rapoport as "Papi" and the hashtag #boricua, using a word with which many Puerto Ricans identify themselves. The 2013 photo (which was removed Monday after the uproar started) has circulated briefly on social media in the past, but on Monday, its surfacing on Twitter led to Rapoport's downfall. It was tweeted by writer Tammie Teclemariam after a Puerto Rican freelance food writer publicized her own recent interaction with Rapoport attempting to find a "way in" to the magazine and being rejected.
After Teclemariam's tweet, Rapoport apologized via a staff-wide Zoom meeting during which an assistant food editor asked him to resign, BuzzFeed reports. After he left the call so staffers could talk amongst themselves, most agreed he should resign, a source says. Bon Appétit staffers started posting on social media about their own experiences with racial discrimination at the magazine, echoing longstanding complaints that the magazine needs to do better in terms of representing diversity as well as the way it treats people of color on staff. The larger Condé Nast media empire has been the target of similar criticism. Rapoport ultimately posted an announcement of his resignation, saying, "I am stepping down as editor in chief of Bon Appétit to reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place. From an extremely ill-conceived Halloween costume 16 years ago to my blind spots as an editor, I've not championed an inclusive vision." (Read more racism stories.)