Food critic accused of bullying after slamming influencer couple's 'yuck' PR pregnancy announcement

Influencer couple asking for free stuff when pregnant slammed as "yuck"
The couple accused the food writer of "bullying" after he slammed their announcement. Photo credit: Instagram.

An Australian influencer couple have hit back at a respected food critic, after he slammed their public pregnancy announcement asking for free baby products. 

John Lethlean, food critic and writer for The Australian, shared a screenshot from industry newsletter Social Diary, in which YouTuber Mitchell Orval and his girlfriend Chloe Szep announced their pregnancy. 

"Mitch Orval and his partner Chloe Szep are excited to announce they're expecting a baby in August. Please reach out if you represent any baby-related brands or products and are interested in gifting them to Chloe and Mitch," the announcement read. It ended with a note that Szep has 561,0000 Instagram followers, while Orval has 211,000. 

Famously acid-tongued journalist Lethlean shared a screenshot of the announcement to his Instagram, with the words "Yuck. Call me old. But yuck". 

"Hello. I'm nobody and I figure, if I can get something for free, why not? My reputation for integrity ain't worth a pinch of poo anyway," he sarcastically captioned the post. 

But Orval hit back, resharing the post o his Instagram story and accusing the food writer of "bullying". 

"To publicly humiliate someone when you're in the industry you're in is a disgrace. It's online bullying and so unprofessional!"

"I hope you sleep better at night," 

He also recorded another Instagram Story, in an attempt to clear up "any confusion".

"So what that's about is our agency obviously sent an email to PR companies about collaborations with brands who want to work [with us] now knowing that we're having a child," said Orval.

"No, we didn't ask for any free things. Our agency did their job, which is what they're intended to do."

He then pointed out that Lethlean, being a food critic, would receive a similarly free lunch. 

"I find [this] very rich coming from a f**king food critic who probably goes around eating free food just to write about how shit the f**king satay sauce is," said Orval.

"So, Mr Food Critic, why don't you do your job, go back to eating some prime rib, and shut the f**k up, buddy."

Lethlean later mocked Mitchell's 'statement' on Instagram, telling his followers: "Now this is amusing. Got to [Orvall's Instagram], find his Story and weep for the future."

It's not the first time Lethlean has hit out at influencers. He previously started the hashtag "couscousforcomment", to make a point about how many influencers attempt to eat out for free in exchange for "exposure".