Adam Richman, host of of the popular Travel Channel show Man vs Food, went on an Instagram commenting rant about weight and body image. He was unaware that on the other end of the digital comment thread was Amber Sarah. Sarah is the writer of the blog Adipose Activist and self proclaimed "fat activist." After Richman personally attacked both her and her friends, she posted the comments on her blog, and the comments went viral. As a result, his new show, Man Finds Food, which was supposed to debut last night, has been "postponed indefinitely."
The debacle started last week when Richman posted a photo of himself in pants that were too large for him, with the caption "Had ordered this suit from a Saville Row tailor over a year ago. Think I'm gonna need to take it in a little… #Victory #EyesOnThePrize #AnythingisPossible #fitness #transformation #thinspiration."
Some Instagram users took issue with his use of the hashtag "thinspiration." As Sarah argued in her blog post on the matter, "Without context, thinspiration may not seem like a bad word, but a simple google search proves that it was created by a community of people with eating disorders to inspire each other to continue and celebrate their illnesses." There is a large digital community in which, generally, young women support one another to purge and starve, in hopes of being very thin and having a "thigh gap" (or a space between a woman's thighs, which is the result of bone structure in most women, though this digital community believes it can be achieved through starvation.)
One user, @quadcitygirl, commented about the negative association with #thinspiration on Richman's Instagram photo, to which he replied "DILLIGAF?" (Internet slang for "Does it look like I give a fuck?") From there, Amber Sarah commented, and reposted Richman's comment, asking her Instagram followers to explain to him the negativity surrounding #thinspiration.
After that, Richman went on quite the angry and hurtful rant (including the use of many words that our readers might find offensive.) He replied to Sarah's comments by calling her a "cunt" and it went on from there:
...So go on, be vindictive, email my responses. Because that's what good people do right? Give me a fucking break. If anyone acts like a cunt I'll call them one. It's not misogyny, it's calling a spade a spade. Maybe you're the one being aggressive & unfair - and yes, if my use of the hashtag offended you, it was unintentional & for that I'm sorry"
He went on to say:
Oh eat a bag of shit, dummy. No apology is coming. If it inspires someone to attain a healthy thinner body - then that was what it was meant to do. Only fuckup it seems was your dad's choice to go without a condom."
Seriously grab a razor blade & draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you."
Since then, Richman has deleted the comments (though Amber Sarah remains blocked by him) and issued this apology, "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 also told ABC News, "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."
Still, it was too late and the damage was done. The Travel Channel, which was set to air his new show starting July 2, told The Guardian, "Travel Channel is postponing the July 2 series premiere of Man Finds Food." There's no word on if or when the show will ever air.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.