Anthony Bourdain blasts Travel Channel on his way out

Anthony Bourdain
(Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images)

Anthony Bourdain has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, and he’s not changing a thing as he makes the transition from Travel Channel, his home for the last seven years. That includes tearing into his former bosses when he feels they deserve it.

As Bourdain rings down the curtain on the final season of his long-running show, “No Reservations,” he ripped the channel’s executives in a particularly hostile post on his personal Tumblr page.

The source of his anger is a decision to insert post-production product placement of a Cadillac into one of the final episodes of “No Reservations” without consulting the writer and chef first, making it appear that Bourdain was endorsing the car by riding around in one.

“After the first airing of the commercial, I let the network know of my extreme displeasure,” Bourdain wrote. “Fair warning one would think. They ran it again anyway.”


Though Bourdain admitted that he’s not been above this sort of thing in the past -- he took money from a credit card company to include its ads within the context of the program a few years ago -- he’s angry about a perceived lack of respect the new management at Travel Channel has shown him.

“I have had a long and mostly very happy relationship with Travel Channel over the last eight years,” he wrote. “For almost all of that time, they were incredibly supportive of what me and my partners were doing -- and of me personally. A number of different owners, a number of different administrations came and went. But in the last year or so things started to take a definite turn for the worse.”

In a statement, Travel Channel responded, “We’ve enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Tony and his production team, but his decision to make further remarks on this matter in the public domain is unfortunate.”

Bourdain accused the execs of “cynically and cheaply” attempting to repurpose video from his shows to create new content. And, of course, there’s the Cadillac product placement. He apologized to Cadillac, with whom he says he has no issue. But the new regime at Travel Channel gets an earful.


And they will continue to get an earful, no doubt, when Bourdain appears on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Tuesday night. His new show on CNN is scheduled to debut in the spring.


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