In a full-page ad in last Thursday's New York Times, BP pointed fingers at an unnamed "celebrity chef," claiming that the restaurateur raked in more than $8 million from a "fictional loss" in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The chef, as the Times-Picayune points out, is clearly Emeril Lagasse, and his restaurant group is the target of the passive-aggressive ad. "Would you pay this claim?" the ad asks, the latest in a "State of the Gulf" series put out by BP that questions "undeserving claims" in an open format. "The Gulf Settlement Program did."
A spokesperson for Lagasse insists that the group's claim was legitimate, and meanwhile, BP has appealed the settlement.
Lagasse previously praised BP's response to the disaster, especially after Treme creator David Simon accused Top Chef's production company of benefiting from BP recovery funds earlier this year. "People can criticize BP all they want, but those guys stepped up to the plate and they did what they had to do," he said. "Not only here, not only in Mississippi, not only in Alabama, not only in Florida — they took it very seriously."
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse targeted by BP in fight over oil spill payments [Times-Picayune]
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