Alton, Just Shut UP!

“And there has got to be a correlation between food media and Americans becoming big fat pigs,” he says, “I’m not going to say Food Network’s responsible for American obesity. I’m not going to say that because of course what you put in your mouth is your own fault and your duty. But the fact that the rise of the celebrity chef has happened hand-in-hand with people becoming big fat pigs, someone’s going to reckon with that.
Alton Brown, celebrity chef, creator of Good Eats, and one of the “faces” of the Food Network, in this article.   (Bolded by me.)

Food Network, get rid of your bigotted, holier than thou representative.  You WILL lose viewers if you let this bigoted man continue to be one of your “faces”, one of your voices.  You sell the concept of food to everybody.  You sell spots to advertisers upon the idea that millions of people will continue to tune in to you, and therefor tune in to your sponsors.  Alton Brown, if he continues his misplaced crusade, will hurt your business.

Alton Brown, I used to respect you.  You are the “Science Guy” of food production.  You helped me to understand a lot of the science behind things like yeast and other leavening, why putting an extra egg into cake batters at high altitude helps the cake not fall, and a lot of other things.  Your recipes were great to recreate.  Your show Good Eats was fun and informative.  HOWEVER.  You do NOT have any right to call the people who you, personally, are making money off of (in the form of book sales) big fat pigs. You do NOT have the right to engage in hate speech, condescension, nor ridicule towards them (remember the “did you eat the TV” comment?  yeah, that’s the ridicule).

You will never grace my living room again.  I’m just very glad that I’m not one of the “nice folk” who’ve personally contributed to your fortune (by buying one of your books).

Oh, and by the way, you might want to emulate Andrew Zimmerman.  As you said, “he never disrespects anybody.”  You might want to try that, if you don’t want to lose any more viewers for your employers, or sales of your book!


19 Responses

  1. Why do I suddenly want a tee shirt saying:

    “Dear Alton Brown

    Shut up


    A Big Fat Proud Pig”

    Screw you, Alton.

  2. I was Alton Brown’s biggest fan until he went on a diet, and then did a show about it. Something kind of snapped, and I lost that bit of respect, really. It was like he’d caught something from Michael Pollan.

  3. Between Brown’s hate spew and Bourdain’s very obvious distaste for us human beings, I find little of redeeming value on Food Network anymore. It feels as though the Network hopes that showing constant shaming of diverse bodies while at the same time showcasing Food Food FOOD! will ENCOURAGE more viewers to tune in….because we all can’t get enough shame and contradictory messages about food in our lives or something??? Freakin’ A people! *le sigh*

  4. I met Alton Brown in person when I was working at a hotel near St. Louis. This was when he was doing his “on the road” program. (Sorry, don’t know what it is and don’t care.) In person he is a total asshole, a snobby bitch, and a waste of space. He was rude and I wanted to punch him dead in his c*cksucker. This news blurb doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    I used to be a big fan of the Food Network, but over the last couple of years I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.

  5. Gee, how did I ever manage to get fat without Alton Brown’s help, then? I wouldn’t know the guy if I tripped over him (which is a shame, because he richly deserves to be landed on by a fatty, the heavier the better). And the only time I’ve ever seen the Food Network is at my skinny mother’s house.

    One hopes that as low as most fat people’s self-esteem is, that they will not take kindly to being called “pigs,” and will proceed to then liposuction all the fat out of his wallet.

  6. :::::::::face palm:::::::::::::
    Wow, some folks need to stop reading their own press releases and get over their apparent incipient god-hood, don’t they?

  7. Ok, I am finally going to build that mud oven in my back yard. That way, I can use his books as fuel for baking some bread, and they’ll finally be of some use to me. Someone else’s recipe, of course, because not only is he a bigoted asshole, he’s a lousy-ass chef whose recipes don’t work. I don’t know how much time I wasted trying to make that goddamned Pillow Bread recipe. Finally I said fuck it, tried some other bread recipes, and whattya know, no problem at all! My husband’s co-workers beg for my Rye bread for every potluck– even the ones where spouses don’t attend!

  8. I too used to really like Alton, and also met him, along with Giada and Rachel Ray a while back when they came to Cleveland for the Food expo.

    My least favorite was Ray, but Alton had seemed really nice to my chubby sister and I and fat mother and grandmother. Giada was my favorite, my grandmother basically slapped her (she does a little cheek slap to show affection, I don’t think she realizes it hurts) and just laughed and took it in stride.

    This makes me really sad, I’m very disappointed in him, though I can’t say I’m surprised. What’s ridiculous though, is this is the dude who practically wanks over cooking with bacon grease, and yet, somehow, fatties are the ones with the problem.

    Furthermore, I am sick to the teeth of being told every damn day and night that people have an obsession with food like never before and that that is the reason for all our supposed fatness. We have as a culture an obsession with dieting and thinness like never before. Why does no one comment on the correlation there?

  9. Wow, Alton, this is exactly what I need to read as I’m struggling to become healthier, which for me is fatter, after finally overcoming 10+ years of anorexia. I hope he doesn’t trigger anyone with this crap.

    Alton Brown = Fail

  10. I love Alton’s recipes and his show, but I’m more and more disappointed and angry with the way he talks.

  11. Insulting fat foodies is vicious in the exact same way as making fun of fat people who exercise. It is the same damn thing. Fat haters love to concern-troll us about our health, but when we want to do things that are likely to make us healthier – like cooking – it becomes another excuse for them to tell us how disgusting we are.

    Or maybe we’re allowed to cook as long as we don’t show any enthusiasm for it? (Processed foods and take out are Bad Bad Wrong Bad, after all.) Enlighten me, Alton.

  12. Michelle, you can cook, just make damn certain you don’t eat any of the food you make. You must live on raw fruits and vegetables until you have made penance enough and finally are granted the gift of thinness, and true immortality, by the all powerful gods of health. Then, and only then, are you allowed a single tiny morsel of his cooking.

  13. I have to admit, I loved Alton back when…but now? Suddenly he’s turned into this preachy jerk. I don’t get it! I mean, he’s the guy that explained the science behind fried foods not containing more fat necessarily than other things, it’s all in how they are fried. He always chose the full-fat full-calorie versions of foods and he’s a southern boy. WTF?! Bummer man, just bummer. He and Bourdain? Former heroes, now shameful liars and nothing else.

    • Unfortunately, it’s not suddenly. He’s been a preachy jerk. Two years ago, when I first started the blog, one of my first posts was about him, and his words of ridicule ( The quote of “what did you do, eat the tv?” was from in interview with Alton Brown I wrote about at the time.

      In that interview, he also said, “I’ll probably make fat people angry.” This was in an interview supposedly talking about sustainability. What does have sustainability have to do with ridiculing people?

  14. this really disappointed me. and it doesn’t surprise me. i read that article a few days ago after adam richman tweeted about it. he was genuinely hurt by alton’s words. 😦

    alton used to be (one of) my imaginary tv boyfriend(s), but no longer. he has been ousted by adam richman, who loves food and people and people who love food.

  15. […] A Day in the Fat Life: Alton, Just Shut UP! […]

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