P.J. Vogt, a host of the popular podcast “Reply All,” took a leave of absence on Wednesday after complaints from former colleagues that he and a senior reporter contributed to a toxic work environment and rallied against union efforts.

Mr. Vogt and the senior reporter, Sruthi Pinnamaneni, each apologized in statements on Twitter.

The allegations at Gimlet Media, which produces “Reply All,” came after the podcast released its second episode in a series about accounts of discrimination at the food magazine Bon Appétit’s popular video series. After George Floyd’s killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police last year, newsrooms and media organizations around the United States, including The New York Times, have grappled with accusations that they have not adequately addressed inequalities within their ranks.

Eric Eddings, a former Gimlet employee who co-hosted the podcast “The Nod,” tweeted on Tuesday that “Reply All,” and specifically Mr. Vogt and Ms. Pinnamaneni, had contributed “to a near identical toxic dynamic at Gimlet” as the one they described in their series about Bon Appétit.

“The BA staffers’ stories deserve to be told, but to me it’s damaging to have that reporting and storytelling come from two people who have actively and AGGRESSIVELY worked against multiple efforts to diversify Gimlet’s staff & content,” he wrote. “It was so triggering to hear the words of people who have suffered like me from people who caused that suffering to me and others.”

Mr. Eddings said he had heard Mr. Vogt “denigrate other colleagues” and had “personally seen harassing messages sent by PJ” to union organizers during negotiations, which took place in late 2018 and early 2019. (The union was recognized by management in April 2019.) Mr. Vogt was not receptive to complaints that employees of color felt they did not have opportunities to advance, he said.

He also said that he had asked Mr. Vogt multiple times to contribute to diversity efforts, such as joining a diversity group or speaking up at staff meetings to show the issue was important to senior figures, but that Mr. Vogt did not. He said that people of color at the podcast saw unionizing as a way to create an environment where they could succeed, but that Mr. Vogt and Ms. Pinnamaneni tried to rally support against them.

Brittany Luse, a former Gimlet employee who co-hosted “The Nod” with Mr. Eddings, spoke in support of his statements. “It’s impossible to explain just how dark that time was,” she wrote on Twitter, referring to efforts to unionize at Gimlet. “Their pushback thickened the air.”

Lydia Polgreen, the managing director of Gimlet, told staff in an email on Wednesday that Mr. Vogt would be stepping down.

“From the moment I arrived at Gimlet, it was clear that our culture needed work, and that there were big things that needed to change to make this a better, more equitable place,” Ms. Polgreen said, adding that the collective bargaining process had been “by its nature confrontational.”

“At Gimlet, we make creative work in collaborative teams,” she said. “That work is really rewarding and also hard. It involves honest and sometimes difficult conversations. But those conversations must happen with respect.”

Reggie Ugwu contributed reporting.



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