Josh Ostrovsky, better known as Internet-famous plagiarist The Fat Jew, has been in the news quite a bit recently. A number of comedians have hurled allegations of joke-theft at Ostrovsky, who has acknowledged his shady tactics with a few half-hearted apologies. Despite the bad press, the New York City Wine & Food Festival recently set Ostrovsky up as a host of its Late Night Ramen Party in October. That move hasn't been well received.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Serious Eats managing culinary director Kenji Lopez-Alt wrote that he's pulling out of the Ramen Party. Lopez-Alt was one of the key figures who put the event together, but declared Ostrovsky's inclusion, replacing model Chrissy Teigan as a host, forced him to bow out.
"The Fat Jew is the antithesis of everything I represent in the media world," Lopez-Alt wrote. "He unapologetically steals other people's work, stripping it of the creators' identities. He is a plagiarist, a thief, a misogynist, and absolutely the wrong choice of co-host for a food event, or really any respectable event. That it comes at a time when there's huge media backlash against him is even more baffling to me."
Lopez-Alt wrote that the NYCWFF's choice to include Ostrovsky was "unilateral" and that "the festival organizers were not backing down on their decision." He said several of the event's key sponsors — Jin Ramen, Ivan Ramen, Mu Ramen, Sun Noodle, Yuji Ramen, and Bar Chuko — have also withdrawn. Lopez-Alt is "currently figuring out a means of hosting a new event or promotion that will benefit the two charity sponsors of the NYCWFF: the Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry."
Representatives for the NYCWFF did not respond to multiple emails from Eater seeking comment.