(Updated below with Richman’s new apology.)
About a week after Travel Channel’s star Adam Richman got into a nasty war of words on Instagram over a picture related to his recent weight loss, the network has pulled his upcoming series, “Man Finds Food,” from the schedule.
The show, featuring Richman uncovering “delicious hidden food treasures” across the country, was supposed to debut on July 2. Then the channel suddenly announced it would be postponed with no details about a later date. A surprising move, given that Richman is one of the network’s most profitable stars, the host of shows including “Man v. Food,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” and others.
However, the decision came down right after Richman made some very unflattering headlines when an expletive-filled rant on Instagram went public. It all started earlier this month when Richman, very proud of his recent weight loss after years of heavy eating for his shows, posted a picture on Instagram showing off his new physique. “Had ordered this suit from a Saville Row tailor over a year ago. Think I’m gonna need to take it in a little…” he wrote, using the hashtag #thinspiration.
Unbeknownst to Richman, that word is extremely sensitive. According to an XOJane essay by Amber Sarah detailing the Richman incident, “thinspiration is very popular in pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia circles, generally consisting of pictures of emaciated bodies.”
Amber writes that a friend of hers was upset when Richman used the phrase, and the friend tagged him in a comment that explained why.
Richman’s response to her friend: “DILLIGAF?” (Do I Look Like I Give an [Expletive]?”)
Things spiraled from there, as Amber’s friend posted a screenshot of the comment, and fired back that the #thinspiration hashtag “glorifies negative media self-imagery that being thin is better as opposed to any other body style.” Others, including Amber, noticed her photo, and started writing to Richman saying they were also offended by the #thinspiration hashtag as well as his crude response.
“Maybe realize that you aren’t being ‘trolled,’ but that you upset actual human beings,” Amber wrote.
Richman, via screengrabs from Amber on XOJane, apparently did not take too kindly to that criticism.
“Maybe you’ll acknowledge that just because someone is on TV, they are no less worthy of human kindness, respect, forgiveness or patience…Give me a [expletive] break,” Richman wrote in part. “If anyone acts like a [four letter word] I’ll call them one. It’s not misogyny, it’s calling a spade a spade….if my use of the hashtag offended you, it was unintentional & for that I’m sorry.”
It got worse as others jumped in. Richman told one of his Instagram critics to “Grab a razor blade and draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you.” He told another that the only thing that was [expletive] up was “your Dad’s choice to go without a condom.” Amber details more comments in the XOJane essay; none are flattering, to say the least.
Soon after, Jezebel noted that Richman tweeted an apology (which has since been deleted): “Yes. I’ve responded to internet hate recently with vile words directed at those hating me. I am sorry, I should know better & will do better,” he wrote. That was preceded by another (also now-deleted) tweet: “In real life, if you say stuff you regret in anger, you cool down, apologize & move on.If you’re a celeb on social media – it becomes a blog.”
Richman also apparently wrote an apology on Instagram, saying he would never have used #thinspiration if he knew what it meant, but it looks like it has been taken down.
Travel Channel would not confirm that schedule change was related to what happened. “Travel Channel is postponing the July 2 series premiere of ‘Man Finds Food,’” a spokesperson said in a statement.
For now, “American Grilled,” which challenges grilling enthusiasts to compete for a $10,000 cash prize, will air in its place at on Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
UPDATE, Tuesday morning — Richman released an apology to ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “I’ve long struggled with my body image and have worked very hard to achieve a healthy weight. I’m incredibly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt.”