One group of journalists inside The Times believes that the departures are emblematic of a so-called “cancel culture” at the newspaper, with management catering to what they describe as a vocal minority of “woke” staffers who raised concerns about McNeil and Mills. These staffers point to a letter that 150 of their colleagues reportedly signed asking top management to reassess McNeil’s behavior.
But staffers who make up the opposing wing of The Times firmly reject that label and contend that their letter simply called for accountability and asked for transparency on how key decisions are made. The staffers also pushed back against the “cancel culture” narrative that has taken hold and suggested media coverage has been too focused on McNeil’s 2019 actions and not his lack of contrition afterward.
Importantly, Murphy also told CNN Business that the decision about McNeil’s leaving The Times had been made before the letter was delivered to management.