Further developments in the controversy surrounding the popular Reply All podcast, and its recent efforts to report on institutional and systemic racism at food magazine Bon Appetit, today, as host Alex Goldman issued a series of statements admitting that the show’s own issues with representation, reporting, and inclusivity have forced them to cancel the Test Kitchen miniseries, and put Reply All itself “on pause.” This comes after both Reply All senior reporter Sruthi Pinnamaneni and co-host P.J. Vogt were revealed to be leaving the series, after former co-workers at the show’s home network, Gimlet Media, alleged multiple instances in which the two displayed hostility to efforts to diversify the company’s staff. In canceling Test Kitchen, Goldman dubbed the series a “systemic editorial failure” in its efforts to tell a story about another company while ignoring issues about the way Gimlet itself operated.
In an audio statement released to the Reply All feed, and on his personal Twitter account, Goldman clarified that this move did not represent the end of Reply All in general, but did note that the recent controversy has spawned a “reckoning” about how the show handles its reporting. He also noted that the planned final two episodes of the Test Kitchen series are still incomplete amid Pinnamaneni and Vogt’s departures and will not be completed, issuing an apology both to fans and the people interviewed for the stories for being unable to finish the series. (The previous two installments will stay up, with a new disclaimer added to each of them.)
Accounts of Pinnamaneni and Vogt’s behavior were brought to light by Eric Eddings, former host of Gimlet’s The Nod podcast. Per THR, both former members of the Reply All staff will move to different parts of the Gimlet Media organization.