Martha Stewart was a lifestyle influencer long before the term ever existed. For decades, she’s been the ultimate authority on cooking, baking, decorating, and gardening. Not even serving time in prison could slow her down.
At almost 80 years old, Stewart is still going strong with merchandising deals and media appearances. She’s become a regular on the Food Network, and she recently starred in her own Chopped spinoff. But although it seems like nothing will ever stop the Stewart brand, viewers aren’t thrilled with her Food Network appearances.
The unstoppable Martha Stewart
If there’s one thing you can say for sure about Stewart, it’s that she has managed to stay in the spotlight for decades. According to Factinate, she started her climb to fame in her teens as a model. Modeling helped pay her way through college, after which she worked for a few years as a stockbroker.
But the financial world wasn’t enough to satisfy Stewart’s ambitions, and she left to build a catering business. Her cooking skills and impeccable taste led to a cookbook deal, and she was on her way to a lifestyle empire. Cookbooks, a magazine, TV shows, and numerous merchandising deals soon followed. She established a business, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and became America’s first self-made female billionaire.
In 2004, Stewart was convicted of four felonies in connection with a stock deal she made. She served five months in federal prison and another five months on house arrest, in addition to paying fines and being sentenced to two years probation, according to History. Two weeks after finishing her sentence, she was back on TV. Stewart’s lifestyle empire couldn’t be stopped.
Her work on ‘Chopped’
These days, Stewart is nearly 80 years old and showing no signs of slowing down. She continues to sell a wide range of products, from dog food to CBD supplements. She’s also a familiar face on Food Network’s cooking competition show Chopped. Stewart has appeared on Chopped for about three years now.
According to Mashable, she’s also launched a spinoff show. The five-episode series is called Chopped: Martha Rules. In it Stewart calls all the shots, giving contestants challenges and doling out her rigorous criticism. It may seem as though Stewart has been prepping for this role for her whole life. But Food Network viewers aren’t impressed.
Some fans ‘never could stand the woman’
In a recent conversation on Reddit, a viewer wondered if Stewart’s work on Food Network could hurt her brand. Despite being a longtime fan, this person disliked her on Chopped so much that it was changing the way they felt about her. And the new show was even worse. The Reddit user posted:
“I have come to react negatively to her appearances & switch the channel … I delete the Martha episodes, unwatched, from my dvr . My gut reaction to her has switched. I wonder if losing fans like me could hurt her brand? For some reason, this new position as chief judge & cutthroat kitchen style imposer has shifted her into the cringe category for me.”
Another poster commented, “Better question, what impact will her appearances have on FN? As soon as I see her, I turn the channel or delete the recording … I never could stand the woman.” Others agreed, saying “I can’t stand her … I will not watch anything that she is in, including commercials. She is rude, and thinks she is better than everyone else.” But for some fans, Stewart can still do no wrong. “I still love her. She is flawed and uppity. No apologies.”
Stewart’s Chopped spinoff has been renewed for a second season. Whether it’s well-received or not, she’s still a huge success by any standards. Even after all these years, she still inspires some people even as she infuriates others.
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