Peter Meehan Resigns from LA Times Food Section After Allegations of Creating a Toxic Workplace Culture

Los Angeles Times food editor Peter Meehan has resigned from the paper, effective immediately. The news comes just a few days after a series of tweets from freelance writer (and Eater contributor) Tammie Teclemariam, who alleged abusive behavior and other wrongdoings by Meehan during his tenure at the paper, and while running the now-defunct food magazine Lucky Peach.

Teclemariam was also the first prominent voice to call for the ouster of former Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, after she tweeted a photo of the New York City-based editor wearing a racist Halloween outfit.

In the resignation announcement, now available on Twitter, Meehan says:

I’m leaving the LA Times. Tweets on Monday allege a number of things I don’t think are true, but they also compelled my staff to speak out. In my tunnel vision commitment to making the best thing we could, I lost sight of people and their feelings. This is a terrible failing on my part. I offer actual sincere non-PR apologies to all of them and to anybody who my approach to editing and management hurt. I have learned and grown over my years in the business, but not fast enough to get ahead of these failings. I’m sorry to everybody that I’ve let down directly or indirectly and the last thing I’ve ever wanted to be is some sort of institutionalized problem. I am proud of the people I have worked with and the things we have made together. I wish I had seen myself how others did and changed my ways, but this moment is about that: changing, challenging, and making things better.

In an internal memo, managing editor Kimi Yoshino reportedly told staff that the company “would be formally investigating the allegations” against Meehan, but that during the conversation the food editor offered his resignation, which was accepted. A request for comment from the Times pointed reporters back to Meehan’s statement on Twitter.

The LA Times food section has long been an anchor in local food and restaurant coverage, returning to a separate print section last year after a seven-year hiatus. In 2018, the publication beefed up the food section by installing Peter Meehan as the editor, along with two restaurant critics (including former Eater critic Bill Addison) and two recipe writers following the sale of the Times to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. It’s unclear who will lead the food section moving forward.

Leave a Reply