As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Gimlet Media continues to suspend the popular podcast “Reply All” in the wake of recent allegations of racism at the magazine Bon Appetit, and a subseries on the topic has been shelved after former employees claimed that a host of the show and a reporter contributed to a toxic work environment.
It has been reported that Sruthi Pinnamaneni and PJ Vogt will be stepping down from their shows on the Gimlet Media podcast “Reply All,” according to an internal email sent by the managing director Lydia Polgreen.
This comes after a former Gimlet employee claimed they were creating a “toxic atmosphere” at the company in a thread that went viral on Twitter.
What happened at Reply All?
The statement was posted on the Reply All feed on Thursday, February 25, in a two-minute statement entitled “A Message from the Staff of Reply All”.
Alex Goldman revealed in a previous podcast episode that Sruthi Pinnamaaneni, a senior journalist with the show, and P.J Vogt, the co-host and producer, both left the podcast after stories about this created a toxic workplace culture and were heard by former colleagues during the week.
Based on this statement, the accusations against the two Reply All albums seem to be related to their rallying against a union effort to increase diversity in the workplace.
According to the reports, the two hosts took a stand against the creation of an equal working environment. The statement goes on to disclose that former colleagues PJ Vogt and Sruthi Pinnamaneni have filed grievances with their former supervisors regarding their behavior, in addition to disclosing more information about the incident.
This has led to a reckoning among Gimlet media in regard to the work culture at Reply All after these statements have reportedly surfaced.
“Reply All” aren’t the only podcasts out there that are trying to reestablish their reputation
There are a few other podcasts that are trying to reestablish their reputation after a media storm but Reply All is the most well-known of them all.
The show was not something that could just be handed over to Spotify-owned Gimlet just because it is a popular podcast brand these days.
It is important to preserve the foundation of value that makes Reply All’s success possible. Do you think that is due to its unwavering devotion to online ephemera?
It is expected that this will be Gimlet’s last interview, but he hopes it will not be his last. Vogt and Goldman began podcasting in 2014, but they had already been friends for a while (Goldman stated in the April episode that he has never been able to find a position in the industry without being able to work with his former co-host).
There can be no doubt that part of Reply All’s appeal was its host-to-host rapport, which provided their reporting with a refreshingly personal touch.
In the event that this dynamic is disrupted, a podcast’s tone can quickly turn sour. The Gossipmongers co-host Poppy Hillstead, a former co-host on the show with David Earl and Joe Wilkinson in September 2015, claimed on Twitter that she had been fired from her position as a co-host.
Hillststead was fired after three series by two men she considered friends because they told her she “didn’t have the experience needed.”
Although Goldman said that Reply All’s investigations are checked externally, the hypocrisy that undermined the credibility of the Test Kitchen story in a more subtle way undermined the credibility of the show.
It is imperative that you have a spotless record of obtaining the truth about something as sensitive as workplace racism. If the investigative sleuth becomes embroiled in another scandal of the same type, then the exposé is doomed to fail.
In my opinion, ‘Reply All’ succeeded because it embodied so many of the best characteristics of podcasting, including warm, relatable hosts in a real relationship going on an actual discovery journey through scrupulous reporting.