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Podcast Covering Toxic Workplace Hit With Its Own Scandal

Host, reporter leave Gimlet's 'Reply All'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2021 11:42 AM CST

(Newser) – The popular Gimlet podcast Reply All is focusing this month on the recent turmoil at food magazine Bon Appetit, which stemmed from allegations of a toxic workplace and racial discrimination. And now, the podcast is itself in the same boat. Host PJ Vogt and senior reporter Sruthi Pinnamaneni both exited Reply All this week over allegations that they contributed to a toxic workplace, per Vulture. On Tuesday, Eric Eddings, former co-host of Gimlet's The Nod, penned a Twitter thread, describing how the pair had "actively and AGGRESSIVELY worked against multiple efforts to diversify Gimlet's staff & content" in 2019. He wrote that staff on Gimlet's "biggest show" had "used their weight as a cudgel" against efforts to unionize and recognize the contributions of people of color. He also named Reply All co-host Alex Goldman but noted he's since become "a staunch ally."

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Eddings claimed Pinnamaneni had called him "a piece of shit" and "personally held an Anti-union meeting." He claimed Vogt had denigrated staffers and sent them "harassing messages." Of Reply All's four-part "The Test Kitchen" series focusing on Bon Appetit, Eddings added, "it was so triggering to hear the words of people who have suffered like me from people who caused that suffering to me and others." Vogt and Pinnamaneni apologized Wednesday, the same day Gimlet managing director Lydia Polgreen announced both were stepping back from the podcast, per the Hollywood Reporter. In an internal email, Polgreen wrote that Yogt had asked to take a leave of absence, which Vulture reports will be permanent. Polgreen also noted the Spotify-owned studio would discuss the future of "The Test Kitchen." Only two of the four episodes have aired. (Read more workplace discrimination stories.)

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