A longtime editor of an Atlanta music and culture magazine ignited a storm of controversy on Tuesday when he dismissed popular gay Atlanta chef Ria Pell, who died in November, as an unhealthy lesbian celebrated in the year's “Most Overdone Memorial.”
Jeff Clark, editor of Stomp & Stammer, offers his takedown on Pell in the January issue, which hit the streets on Tuesday.
Most Overdone Memorial: The ongoing posthumous deification of Ria Pell. She was a nice woman who opened a restaurant that helped revitalize a stretch of Memorial Drive. She was also unhealthy and met with an early death. Had she not been a lesbian, had she been a straight woman or man we would have seen a fraction of the reaction. Instead, she was unrealistically elevated into something she wasn’t: a symbolic figure.
Pell's supporters, hundreds of whom attended a Nov. 30 memorial service and a rockin' party to honor her, reacted quickly. And harshly. A post on Reddit called it disgusting. Gay journalist Rich Eldredge chronicled the outburst from supporters in a post for Atlanta magazine titled Stomp and Stammer's Jeff Clark may be the most hated man in Atlanta today. The GA Voice says Clark's post may be homophobic. (It is.) And more than 700 people have joined Boycott Stomp And Stammer And All Who Advertise There, a Facebook group created in reaction to Clark's description.
The posts to the page aim their venom at Clark like this:
Jeff Clark is a bad joke……….Ria is probably laughing at your dumbass right now……
Pell's fans and supporters also flocked to Remembering Ria, a Facebook page created in the wake of her Nov. 24 death. That page has more than 5,500 fans.
It takes a community to stand up to what is wrong and a community to support what is right. Please remember to support small business in this community. Check out the “Likes” pages and remember those businesses that have shown support in our mourning and grieving. Also remember those taking a stand against hate. As we see support, we will add their FB pages to our “LIKES” section. Thanks, Ria's Crew
UPDATE | Clark says sorry for being so shitty.