Eater National reports that Bravo has now run a statement from the city of New Orleans on their blog, aiming to do some damage control after the Times-Pic revealed a portion of Top Chef's sponsorship money coming from the Louisiana Office of Tourism would actually be taken from the BP Recovery Fund, which has obviously sparked a bit of controversy.
Betwixt articles addressing delusional housewives, and if Andy Cohen has ever hooked up with Anderson Cooper, Bravo released the statement from the city of New Orleans, which, in part, states: "Our investment came from our normal budget, which we planned for, not BP dollars." That of course is TRUE. The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp's $175,000 contribution to Top Chef is not drawn from BP funds, and they were never accused of that. It's the Louisiana Office of Tourism that is using $200,000 from a recovery fund set up by BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to sponsor Top Chef, and Bravo's blog post never addresses that, which at this point seems totally bizarre, but what you'd expect from a network of delusional housewives.
Last week, Anthony Bourdain and Bravo VP Andy Cohen hashed out the controversy on Twitter, with Bourdain suggesting that Bravo donate the BP money, and Cohen lashing back at him about Treme's tax breaks. Treme creator/executive producer David Simon then put the smack down on Cohen's "bullshit in three easy stomps." According to Eater National, Cohen has yet to respond other than tweeting: "he is throwing stones at me. It's all good."
· Bravo Gets Defensive About Top Chef New Orleans Funds [-EN-]
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· All Local Top Chef Coverage [-ENOLA-]
[Image: Eater National]