A New Orleans woman who helped expose what she and others described as a culture of sexual harassment at chef John Besh's restaurants is featured in Time magazine's Person of the Year choice -- honoring people, mostly women, who "launched a movement" against harassment.
Lindsey Reynolds, a former social media manager at Besh Restaurant Group, was highlighted Wednesday as Time unveiled its selection of "The Silence Breakers," people who this year spoke out about sexual harassment and abuse.
Reynolds was among 25 women included in a NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune investigation, published in October by reporter Brett Anderson, that made public the women's accusations of systemic harassment at the Besh Restaurant Group, including allegations by Reynolds and several other women involving Besh himself.
Besh apologized "to anyone past and present who has worked for me who found my behavior as unacceptable as I do," and resigned from the company. BRG announced measures to investigate previously unreported allegations and create "a new employee assistance program" to address the issue.
Time featured Reynolds in a video and article with other women and men selected, including celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Terry Crews and Ashley Judd. The magazine credited Reynolds with being "one of the women who blew the whistle on a culture of harassment at the restaurant group run by the celebrity chef John Besh."
The Silence Breakers are TIME's Person of the Year 2017 #TIMEPOY https://t.co/mLgNTveY9z pic.twitter.com/GBo9z57RVG
-- TIME (@TIME)
Reynolds resigned from BRG in February and wrote an email to her superiors detailing harassment at the company. After she sent that email, she told Time, she felt sick and scared about the consequences of speaking out.
"I was nobody," she told Time. "I have no money, no power, no social standing. And they have more power and money than I will ever have. I felt extremely vulnerable and scared. Then I heard from women I had never met - they worked as line cooks while I worked in corporate - who had experienced the same toxic culture."
Reynold's email helped spur Anderson's eight-month investigation of Besh's restaurants. That probe detailed how Reynolds filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this year, saying "vulgar and offensive comments, aggressive un-welcomed touching and sexual advances were condoned and sometimes even encouraged by managers and supervisors" at the Besh Group.
Read more about the allegations Reynolds and the other women made in the NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune investigation: