BOSTON (CBS) – The Phantom Gourmet is returning to TV this weekend, after a two-month hiatus. The long-running show came under criticism in June, when CEO Dave Andelman posted comments on Facebook mocking Black Lives Matter protesters.
Dave has since resigned from the company; his brother Dan will take over.
“We’re going to look at this as the ultimate teaching moment. We’ve listened, and we’ve learned. And I think once we could put our actions to positively affect the community, I think we can really do some good,” said Dan Andelman.
Andelman says those actions include a complete overhaul of the company’s culture. At the helm of diversity and inclusion training will be community activist Tito Jackson, who’ll also help Phantom use its platform to elevate minority owned businesses.
“We are looking at an extended, at least year-long engagement, to do executive coaching, working with the actual staff, [we’ll be] looking at hiring,” Jackson said. “The real objective is working with people who are going to hold them to the grindstone when it comes to doing the right thing over the course of time. And changing the show, so the show is a reflection of the folks that are in the community.”
Dan Andelman says he hopes to turn this into an opportunity to help restaurants stay open. “This pandemic has been absolutely devastating to the restaurant business. But it’s been disproportionately devastating to minority owned restaurants in the city of Boston,” Andelman said. “I think by keeping our focus on finding these restaurants, meeting these people, and telling their stories, we can really make a positive impact.”