Alison Roman accused of wearing offensive ‘Chola’ Halloween costume
Cookbook author Alison Roman is in hot water — again.
The Brooklyn-based food writer, 34, was accused of wearing an offensive Halloween costume in 2008, weeks after she was scorned for “tone-deaf remarks” about Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo in an interview.
Writer Yashar Ali tweeted out photos that a source sent him from Roman’s old Myspace page. In the post, Ali accuses Roman of being dressed as a “Chola,” a specific style in the Mexican-American community.
“This is an incredibly embarrassing picture that was taken in 2008,” Roman responded on Twitter. “I was 23 and living in SF, this was my ‘SF inspired Amy Winehouse’ costume for Halloween – it reads as culturally insensitive, and I was an idiot child who knew nothing about the world/how this would be perceived and I’m sorry.”
“Amy didn’t have a tattoo in old English on her chest like that. She also didn’t wear hoops like that,” responded Ali, 40, of the Winehouse claim.
Social media watchdogs were quick to accuse Ali of digging up dirt to defend Teigen.
“We all know why you are calling out Alison,” one tweeter posted. “Because you are good friends with someone that she recently had an infamous ‘Twitter feud’ with, which they already squashed. You are beyond petty and unprofessional for this.”
Another tweeter chimed in, “You are not the appropriation and it’s not fair to drag her during times of such intense feelings,” alongside of a photo of Teigen, 34, dressed in a Native American costume with husband John Legend, 41.
Another Twitter user pointed out that Winehouse did, in fact, wear hoops, and often donned a similar outfit to what Roman dressed in for Halloween.
Meanwhile, Roman remained committed to the Winehouse story. “I’d be surprised if I even looked up a picture of Amy to put this together. I am historically lazy and bad at costumes. I’m sure it went something like “someone give me fake tattoos and some eyeliner, this seems fine!” she explained. “It was/I was VERY DUMB.”
Last month, Roman’s popular New York Times column was put on a temporary hold after she lashed out at Teigen and Kondo, implying they were sell-outs.
“What Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me. 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,” Roman told the New Consumer.
“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,” she said of the organizing guru.
After the internet exploded in anger, Roman made a public apology for her actions, which was accepted by Teigen.
“I’m a white woman who has and will continue to benefit from white privilege and I recognize that makes what I said even more inexcusable and hurtful,” she said. “The fact that it didn’t occur to me that I had singled out two Asian women is one hundred percent a function of my privilege (being blind to racial insensitivities is a discriminatory luxury).”
The “Nothing Fancy” author said she has donated $4,000 and helped raise $22,000 in the last 11 days for Black Lives Matter-related causes and Asian-American organizations
At the same time the new allegations against Roman surfaced, her former employer Bon Appétit was melting down: Editor and Chief Adam Rapoport resigned when photos of him in a brownface Halloween costume were revealed. Assistant editor Sohla El-Waylly then alleged that she and other employees of color are not paid for their contributions to the food mag’s popular Youtube channel.
“I’ve been pushed in front of video as a display of diversity,” El-Waylly wrote in an Instagram story. “In reality, currently only white editors are paid for their video appearances. None of the people of color have been compensated for their appearances,” she wrote on Instagram.
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