Alison Roman is finding herself under fire yet again after she submitted to an interview about topics related to race and racism with comedian Ziwe Fumudoh.
Ziwe, 28, hosts a popular YouTube and Instagram show called ‘Ziwe; A Race-Baiting Series,’ and invited Alison on to be her latest guest in an Instagram Live video recorded on Thursday.
But while Alison may have thought the interview would do some damage control following backlash after critical comments she made about Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo, instead it left many viewers cringing, laughing, and shaking their head.
Yikes: Alison Roman is finding herself under fire yet again after she submitted to an interview about topics related to race and racism with comedian Ziwe Fumudoh
On Ziwe’s show, the writer and comedian asks direct and pointed questions about race, racism, Black civil rights leaders, Black people and culture, and other related topics — and often elicits responses from her guests that are racist, ignorant, and otherwise questionable.
The tone of her interviews — and the fact that many guests put their foot in their mouths — is no secret.
In fact, before Alison came on as a guest, Ziwe had interviewed controversial social media figure Caroline Calloway, who was widely mocked for the things she said in the interview.
Alison, however, appeared to think she would perform better — though after watching, viewers beg to differ.
Ziwe began the chat by calling Alison ‘fascinating’ and telling her she wrote ‘one of the best apologies in white people apology tours in the past three to six months.’
Alison replied that she had several friends help her with it, not to tell her what to say but to help her to understand ‘what I was actually apologizing for.’
Ziwe didn’t miss a beat, coming back with a question about whether Alison paid those friends for their emotional labor.
Spotlight: On the show, Ziwe asks direct questions related to race and racism, which often leads guests to say racist, ignorant, or otherwise questionable things
Whoops: Alison talked about being ‘canceled’ following critical comments she made about Chrissy Teigen and Alison Roman
She then fired off one of the most direct questions of the interview, asking Alison why she hates Asian women.
‘I don’t hate Asian women, I don’t hate anyone,’ Alison answered simply — prompting Ziwe to note that Alison appeared to have watched the Caroline Calloway interview and was choosing her words carefully so as not to find herself in the same boat.
Ziwe also asked where Alison was when she realized she was getting canceled.
‘I was at home. I was home alone. It was a Friday night. It felt like I had taken drugs, but I hadn’t,’ she said.
Alison also denied Chrissy’s previous claim that she has been set to executive produce a cooking show that Alison sold to a production company.
‘That was a challenging comment because it wasn’t true but it wasn’t the time or place for me to correct that,’ she said.
Ziwe then pivoted to Marie Kondo, the other woman Alison infamously criticized in her now-viral interview, asking Alison what ‘that nice lady ever [did] to you.’
Baited: Ziwe began the chat by calling Alison ‘fascinating’ and telling her she wrote ‘one of the best apologies in white people apology tours in the past three to six months’
She said: ‘[Being] a white woman is to be born into a place of very obvious privilege that you might be unaware of until somebody or millions of people point it out to you on the internet’
‘She never did anything to me. I feel like an absolute piece of garbage for dragging either of their names,’ Alison replied.
Switching focus again, Ziwe asked Alison if she considered herself the ‘Christopher Columbus of food influencing,’ which Alison denied.
But when she followed up about Alison’s recipe for collard greens — a traditional Black southern dish first cooked up in the US by enslaved Africans — Alison had a less direct response.
‘What Black person taught you how to cook collard greens and why did you degrade their recipe?’ Ziwe asked of the recipe, which includes cashews and lime.
Alison answered in a roundabout way, eventually saying that she simply liked them crunchy and leafy.
When Ziwe asked her what it is like ‘to be a gorgeous white woman,’ Alison answered: ‘That is nice of you to say.’
‘I don’t know,’ she added. ‘I’ve not thought of myself as that, like ever, in my life. I think what it’s like to be a white woman is to be born into a place of very obvious privilege that you might be unaware of until somebody or millions of people point it out to you on the internet.’
Friends: Alison also talked about her Black friends, saying she has ‘like, four or five Black friends that would pick me up at the airport’
She spoke about her background, which is Irish, German, and Russian, and admitted that she wasn’t raised with any specific culture in her family.
‘I don’t feel ownership of any type of food,’ she said.
Alison also talked about her Black friends, saying she has ‘like, four or five Black friends that would pick me up at the airport.’
‘I know a lot more Black people than that that are friends or friendly… but I mean like actual friends,’ she added.
When asked directly what she likes ‘qualitatively’ about Black people, Alison started to answer about their food when Ziwe stopped her, telling the chef she was ‘doing her a favor.’
After quizzing her on Black civil rights leaders — and asking her to simply name five Black people — Ziwe had Alison list the names of five Asian people in one of the more awkward exchanges of the interview.
‘Chrissy Teigen — no, just kidding,’ Alison said.
‘She’s not Asian?’ Ziwe asked.
Top of her list: When asked to name five Asian woman, she awkwardly named Chrissy Teigen first
‘She never did anything to me. I feel like an absolute piece of garbage for dragging either of their names,’ she said after being asked about Marie Kondo
‘No, she is Asian,’ Alison answered, as her face continued to turn bright red.
‘This is not hard and I am absolutely f***ing blowing it,’ she said as she struggled to name more Asian people. ‘I am blowing this for myself.’
She moved on to her time at Bon Apetit, where former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport recently resigned after a 2004 photo of him in blackface surfaced.
‘There were no Black people when I worked there,’ Alison admitted.
‘I didn’t do anything to change that,’ she went on. ‘I started at a very, very low position and kind of worked my way up and never thought that — I never felt empowered to make any decisions based on hiring or speaking up.
‘It was a pretty intense culture of old-school media hierarchy, and I didn’t do anything to better the situation for anyone. I think everyone was collectively trying to make a livable wage…’
Finally, she was asked about her own racial costume drama, after a photo of her dresses as ‘Chola Amy Winehouse’ recently went viral.
‘It was a dumb Amy Winehouse costume that I literally put together in 40 seconds and was drunk probably when I did it, and didn’t look up the historical accuracy of any tattoos,’ she said
‘It was a dumb Amy Winehouse costume that I literally put together in 40 seconds and was drunk probably when I did it, and didn’t look up the historical accuracy of any tattoos,’ she said. ‘I can’t even — that’s like the honest truth and I don’t… yeah.’
Finally, Alison spoke about how she is ‘decolonizing’ her mind and why she came on the show in the first place.
‘I think the easiest way to [decolonize your mind] for now is a twofold thing, which is reading a lot of books — that I paid for — and also having conversations with people… participating in a dialogue rather than asking people to teach me something,’ she said.
As for allowing herself to be grilled for the show, she told Ziwe: ‘I think you’re really funny and I love watching you interview people and Ithink one of the best ways to talk about the things that you talk about is to do it very directly, even if its really uncomfortable.
‘Hopefully people can see that it’s OK to put yourself in a vulnerable position,’ she said.
Entertaining: Commenters called out the interview with jokes, noting that Alison’s publicist shouldn’t have let her do it
Vulnerable or not, commenters during the Live video and on Twitter after the fact have roasted Alison.
‘Tell me again why Alison Roman would agree to do this interview? Because she does not come out of it looking great. Or even good, really,’ tweeted Stacey Lee Kong.
‘Watching Alison Roman struggle to name 5 Asian and 5 Black people on Ziwe’s IG Live game me enough serotonin to last the next month,’ wrote another Twitter user.
‘My soul left my body,’ wrote Sylvia Obell.
‘How Ziwe gets white people to agree to this is beyond me but I am thankful for her service,’ she added. ‘Y’all gotta go watch the full thing it’s worth every second.