As you know, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Fewer, since I’ve been working from home; but still, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Today on my walk, I made a special effort to listen to an episode of Reply All from Gimlet about the mess at Bon Appetit, the first episode of “Test Kitchen”. This came about because an article in the LA Times talked about how Reply All had discontinued this podcast after episode #2 of 4. Why? Here’s a quote:
The decision comes after a former Gimlet staffer accused two members of the “Reply All” team of creating a “toxic dynamic” at the company. Eric Eddings’ allegations went viral on Twitter earlier this month and prompted the departures of host PJ Vogt and senior reporter Sruthi Pinnamaneni.
After this, one of the remaining hosts Alex Goldman posted a 2 minute message that noted:
We now understand that we should never have published the series as reported. And the fact that we did was a systemic editorial failure.
So, although I had been waiting to listen to the episode for a while, thinking it would be similar to a series from The Sporkful, I now understood this was different. And listening to it with the benefit of the additional hindsight, it took on additional meaning. But more importantly, it made me think back to an episode of Reply All from 2016 that I loved, about the importance of diversity in the workplace. It explored diversity at Twitter. It made me think of an episode of Gimlet’s Start Up podcast that explored diversity at Gimlet, where the host noted:
If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you’d probably notice right off the bat. First, it’s crowded – like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting… it’s not great. Not many windows. Third, it’s white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet’s 27 employees are white. In this episode, we look at diversity (or lack thereof) at Gimlet. And we try to figure out what diversity should mean for the company going forward.
It goes to show: you can talk about diversity all you want, but if you don’t learn the lesson … if you don’t make that workplace better .. you fail.
I look forward to future Reply All episodes where they address this.