Cinnamon rolls that Geraldine DeRuiter had made from the recipe in Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct apology letter.

Geraldine DeRuiter/Everywhereist

Writer who went viral for making Mario Batali’s ‘apology’ cinnamon rolls says she was hacked

She was locked out of her account for days.

 

Samantha Grasso

IRL

Published Jan 17, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 4:25 am CDT

It started with a cinnamon roll recipe.

Well, not just any old cinnamon roll recipe. Specifically, a recipe attached as a fun “p.s.” at the end of a letter apologizing for repeated sexual misconduct from the desk of celebrity chef Mario Batali.

The apology, issued in December and still online as part of Batali’s newsletter, consisted of six sentences and ended with a link to his “fan favorite” pizza dough cinnamon rolls, which writer Geraldine DeRuiter wittily replicated. Because, c’mon, if a man accused of sexual misconduct attaches dessert instructions at the end of his apology, he’s almost asking you to make fun of him about it in order to keep yourself from permanently rolling your eyes into the back of your head, right?

DeRuiter, known for her award-winning travel blog Everywhereist, absolutely killed that recipe and her resulting post. Titled “I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls From Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter” and published on Jan. 10, DeRuiter detailed her process of making the dough, rolling the pastries, and frosting the rolls, all the while sharing her own experiences with misbehaved men like Batali.

DeRuiter starts with making her own dough, instead of buying the pre-made sort: “I’m a woman, and for us there are no fucking shortcuts.”

She rolls the dough out, but is missing directions: “The result will be sub-par because he hasn’t provided all the information, and I will blame myself.”

She bastes butter and sprinkles cinnamon sugar over the flattened dough, all the while getting trolled on Twitter and recalling the time a producer made a dehumanizing comment about her body while she handed out pieces of cake as an intern at a local news station. And the time another producer inappropriately touched her lap. And the time the person she tried to negotiate compensation with demanded to know why she needed the money.

Between her step-by-step process and the review of her life, DeRuiter’s recipe walkthrough is the perfect metaphorical embodiment of being a working woman, or any woman, for that matter. Of being someone in the #MeToo era who has one, two, infinitely too many stories to tell, and yet, must still deal with the realization that apologies from men like Batali are about as satisfying as digging your teeth into a crunchy, erection-y cinnamon roll.

Everything about DeRuiter’s piece screamed of success—the internal, witty monologue, the shitty resulting rolls that she nonetheless ate out of resentment, the more than 500 comments that have been left on the post since it went viral it last week. But of course, the internet wouldn’t let DeRuiter hold onto the glory of besting a man who’s admitted to sexual misconduct. Not for long.

On the morning of Jan. 13, DeRuiter found herself logged out of her Twitter account.

“I knew something was amiss right away, and honestly, I just felt my stomach drop,” DeRuiter told the Daily Dot.

For 36 hours, it seemed a hacker had gained control of DeRuiter’s account. In that time, someone had locked DeRuiter out, tweeted out a racist slur, then deleted her entire tweet history. Being that DeRuiter uses her social media to promote her work to more than 55,000 followers, her hacker had all but destroyed a hugely valuable outlet.

Across Twitter, other writers and friends of DeRuiter’s flagged that she had been possibly hacked, many of them reaching out to their own contacts at Twitter. Others believed the hack was connected to DeReuiter’s clearly effective viral post, showing just how vulnerable women are to being attacked for speaking up. She found the support “overwhelming” as the internet attempted to make noise over her compromised account.

DeRuiter’s personal exchanges with Twitter, however, weren’t so righteous. DeRuiter said that in attempting to get her account back, Twitter told her that because she was emailing them from an email address not associated with the account, they couldn’t help her.

Twitter even told her it ultimately might not be able to recover her account. She found the process to be “somewhat frustrating.” (The Daily Dot has reached out for comment from Twitter on the matter but hasn’t heard back.)

Despite the initial dead end, DeRuiter’s account was returned to her less than two days later, her tweets still intact. And she sent one last “fuck misogynists” tweet for good measure.

“I haven’t been hacked like this before and I’m still sort of stunned by it. In the end, it was a minor thing that we were able to resolve, but I was in a panic for about 36 hours,” DeRuiter said. “When you’ve created an account that’s so closely tied to your personal brand, it’s really unnerving to have someone steal that from you.”

Despite the close timing, she’s still not sure if her alleged hacker acted in retaliation to her post, or hacked her account because she’s a visible internet personality.

“Either way, I’ve been telling everyone I know to lock down all of their accounts immediately,” DeRuiter said.

 

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2018, 3:33 pm CST