We like Andrew Zimmern around these parts. A lot. His approach to life speaks to qualities which we hope to celebrate — curiosity, love for the world, and critical thinking — and his enthusiasm is infectious. Perhaps because he rose to fame well into adulthood, Zimmern has managed to remain humble, down to earth, and bracingly honest, in spite of his success. He doesn’t trade in platitudes, hold his tongue, or suffer fools.
Those qualities — rare in a media-trained world — made the following interview tough to trim down. Particularly when so many of the TV host’s answers touch on major issues of the moment. It’s a long read, but we promise it’s loaded with gems.
Awhile back, you posted a story of mine about Black Lives Matter and the police — how it’s not mutually exclusive to support both of them — on Facebook… And you got slaughtered for it. There was a lot of support too, but some of the responses, whew!
I remember. The most horrifying responses that I get in social media are from people saying, “Stick to food.” Usually it’s, “Stick to food, you miserable fat fuck.” Ninety times out of 100, that comes from somebody who’s got 10 followers on Twitter. They follow 10 people but they have 20,000 tweets.
Is that just the price of being a celebrity engaged in political conversations?
Every week there’s a different person savaging me. Posting 10, 12 times a day. Especially on Twitter. The beauty of being an American is everyone can voice their feelings and opinions about things. I would never tell those people to cease and desist. Yet they feel really comfortable telling vocal celebrities to shut up — from Tom Colicchio and myself in the food world, Lizz Winstead and her Lady Parts Justice thing gets a ton of shit too… I mean, look at what happened to Leslie Jones. It’s absolutely unbelievable.