Model and cookbook maven Chrissy Teigen announced on Sunday that she’ll be taking “a little break” from Twitter and set her account to private after spending the weekend fending off trolls who didn’t like her reaction to criticisms leveled at her by New York Times food columnist Alison Roman.
The trouble began on May 7, when The New Consumer published an interview with Roman in which she said that the sheer volume of social media content can be overwhelming and that she isn’t interested in building a foodie empire. Unfortunately, the blunt gourmet seemed to use Teigen as an example of all the things she doesn’t want.
“Like, what Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me,” Roman said. “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. That horrifies me and it’s not something that I ever want to do. I don’t aspire to that.”
While Roman did acknowledge Teigen’s financial prowess—“But like, who’s laughing now? Because she’s making a ton of fucking money”—it did little to soothe Teigen’s feelings. Roman also took a jab at Marie Kondo, another woman of color lifestyle phenom, saying, “Like the idea that when Marie Kondo decided to capitalize 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, bitch, you fucking just sold out immediately!”
“This is a huge bummer and hit me hard,” Teigen tweeted on May 8. “I have made her recipes for years now, bought the cookbooks, supported her on social and praised her in interviews. I don’t think I’ve ever been so bummed out by the words of a fellow food-lover. I just had no idea I was perceived that way, by her especially.”
She then Roman of trying “to completely invalidate” her work, explaining, “This ‘farm’ you think of doesn’t exist. I am the farm. I am the cows the horses the pigs. anyhow. now that that’s out there, I guess we should probably unfollow each other @alisoneroman.”
Roman responded the same day with a series of apologies, calling her comments “flippant” and “careless,” and saying she hopes they meet one day.
Being a woman who takes down other women is absolutely not my thing and don’t think it’s yours, either (I obviously failed to effectively communicate that). I hope we can meet one day, I think we’d probably get along.
— alison roman (@alisoneroman) May 9, 2020
Besides trolls who used the dust up as an opportunity to go after Teigen and her family, the Twitter backlash was largely targeted at Roman and the fact that she’d focused her ire on two women of color. As journalist Michelle da Silva tweeted, “Alison Roman singles out Marie Kondo / Chrissy Teigen as sellouts, yet takes no issue w/ white women capitalizing on lifestyle content, asking ‘Does the world need another Goop?’ when reflecting on her own brand. Says a lot about who she thinks is allowed to build global empires.”
Incidentally, as Eater points out, Roman had tweeted back on April 7, “Dear lord please let me get through this pandemic without a backlash, my shallot pasta popularity is all I have in these dark times.” When you’re dishing up hot takes, even prayer can’t fend off critics.
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