April 17, 2021

‘Reply All’ Podcast Is Paused After Accusations of Toxic Culture

A spokesman for Spotify, which acquired Gimlet Media in February 2019, said Mr. Vogt and Ms. Pinnamaneni would remain at Gimlet, even though they were off the podcast. He did not give details about their new roles.

Mr. Goldman and Mr. Vogt started “Reply All” in 2014, adapting it from their earlier WNYC radio show, “TLDR” (too long; didn’t read). Episodes in recent years have taken listeners inside phone scam rings in India and on a journey to track down a song that a director heard on the radio as a teenager.

Mr. Eddings and other former Gimlet employees said that Mr. Vogt and Ms. Pinnamaneni vigorously opposed efforts to unionize, which employees of color saw as the only way to create an environment where they could succeed, and that the pair were dismissive of efforts to diversify the staff. In one instance, according to Mr. Eddings, Mr. Vogt sent disparaging text messages to a Gimlet employee who was involved in the unionization effort that left the employee in tears.

In the second episode of the “Test Kitchen” series, which Ms. Pinnamaneni narrates, Ms. Pinnamaneni said Gimlet “had its own version” of the problems that Bon Appétit faced.

“The white people who ran the place hired people of color, promised them change that never quite seemed to materialize,” she said in the episode. When a group of employees tried to change the atmosphere at Gimlet by unionizing, she chose not to join the efforts, she said. “To the extent I talked about it, I talked about the way their fight was stepping on my toes.” She said it took eight months of reporting on Bon Appétit for her to realize how wrong she had been.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Mr. Goldman said the announcement did not mean “Reply All” was ending.

“We’re just figuring out what’s next,” he wrote. “‘Reply All’ is not and never has been just Alex and P.J. There is an insanely talented group of people who make this show.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/25/business/media/reply-all-podcast-on-pause.html

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