Gimlet’s Reply All Ceases ‘Test Kitchen’ Series, Pauses All Production Amid Internal Reckoning

By 02/25/2021
Gimlet’s Reply All Ceases ‘Test Kitchen’ Series, Pauses All Production Amid Internal Reckoning

Spotify-owned Gimlet Media will cease production on a buzzy podcast chronicling structural racism at Bon Appetit magazine amid allegations that top Gimlet staffers fostered a similarly toxic workplace.

Last week, Reply All co-founder P.J. Vogt and senior reporter Sruthi Pinnamaneni — who was the host of the Bon Appetit series, entitled The Test Kitchen — stepped down from their roles at Reply All. And today, in an announcement posted to the podcast’s stream, Reply All co-founder Alex Gold announced that The Test Kitchen has been discontinued — though two of the four episodes that have already aired will remain available, complete with disclaimers.

“We now understand that we should never have published this series as reported, and the fact that we did was a systemic editorial failure,” Gold said. “We’re sorry to our colleagues and our former colleagues that we hurt, we’re sorry to you, our listeners, and of course we’re sorry to the people who spoke to us for The Test Kitchen, who shared their extremely personal stories with us.”

Gold pledged that Reply All is endeavoring to get to the bottom of its own company culture struggles, and will fill in listeners once it has done so — though production on all Reply All series will remain on pause until then.

This internal reckoning follows allegations against Vogt and Pinnamaneni by their former Gimlet co-worker, Eric Eddings, who tweeted about his experiences at Reply All shortly after the second episode of The Test Kitchen dropped last week. “PJ and Sruthi contributed to a near-identical toxic dynamic at Gimlet,” he shared, noting that both had worked against internal efforts to unionize and against efforts to diversify Reply All’s staff and content ventures

Vogt and Pinnamaneni both apologized for their actions last week, and Gimlet CEO Lydia Polgreen wrote in a memo to staffers that “no person at Gimlet or Spotify is too important or powerful to escape accountability for their behavior, very much including me.”