James Beard Foundation Award, Earlier today I wrote about how the president of the prestigious James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro, had accepted an award from the Boy Scouts of America, which bans g*y scouts and g*y scoutmasters. It was especially troubling considering that the legendary chef and cookbook writer James Beard was an openly g*y man who was thrown out of Reed College in Portland in 1922 for precisely the same reason: because he was g*y.
I’d reached out to Susan Ungaro through her PR representative for an explanation and reported her representative’s response, also opining that I didn’t believe that someone so respected in the food industry, which includes many g*y people, could really have knowingly supported an anti-g*y organization. And I asked if she would be returning the award to the Boy Scouts. The post was up for only a few hours when I received a note from Ms. Ungaro telling me that she is in fact doing just that:
While I support all the poverty and hunger-fighting programs of the Boy Scouts of America, including sending at-risk youth to camp, your report brought to my attention that accepting the Distinguished Citizen Award implied I support their anti-g*y policy, which I absolutely do not. When I accepted the honor, I was focused on supporting the New Jersey chefs and restaurant community.
I have informed the Boy Scouts of America that I am rescinding my acceptance of the award.