The newly hired editor of Teen Vogue has resigned. Everything about this story is stupid and that’s exactly why it matters. Because stupid is now running things in the media world.
As Karen pointed out last week, the basic story here is that Teen Vogue hired 27-year-old Alexi McCammond as their new editor. She had worked as a political reporter at Axios and other sites. But upon being hired by Conde Nast, which owns Teen Vogue, the site’s newsroom wrote an outraged letter about some old tweets McCammond had written when she was 17.
“Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes…,” one of the tweets read.
“Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what i did wrong…thanks a lot stupid asian T.A. you’re great,” another said.
In addition to the usual desire by the woke to cancel anyone they can for tweets they wrote as a minor, there was some added emphasis to this cancelation because the tweets were anti-Asian and at this moment in time the spree of hate crimes against Asian Americans is getting a lot of media attention. This is apparently one of the posts about her hiring that led garnered a lot of attention:
View this post on Instagram
Tsui writes, “Maybe we can give her some benefit of the doubt as these were done when she was still a student.” Maybe? You mean maybe we shouldn’t give 17-year-olds the benefit of the doubt 10 years later?
All of this might have gone away if not for a couple of subsequent things that happened. First, a former editor of Teen Vogue went on “The Talk” (which is now mired in another racial controversy involving host Sharon Osborne) and called the decade old tweets “abhorrent and indefensible.” But the final straw probably came from the decision of Ulta Beauty, the cosmetics retailer, decided to “pause” a huge advertising deal with Teen Vogue.
Condé Nast, Teen Vogue’s publisher, announced the abrupt turn on Thursday in an internal email that was sent amid pressure from the publication’s staff, readers and at least two advertisers, just two weeks after the company had appointed her to the position.
“After speaking with Alexi this morning, we agreed that it was best to part ways, so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue,” Stan Duncan, the chief people officer at Condé Nast, said in the email, which was obtained by The New York Times.
Yes, I’m sure that work is terribly important. The Times clarifies that Conde Nast already knew about the tweet bud didn’t know about the Halloween costume:
Ms. Wintour discussed the tweets with leaders of color at Condé Nast before the job offer was made, according to a company executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel issue. Ms. McCammond struck Condé Nast leaders as an impressive candidate, the executive said, and they felt her 2019 apology showed that she had learned from her mistakes.
Although the company was aware of the racist tweets, it did not know about the homophobic tweets or a photo, also from 2011, that was recently published by a right-wing website showing her in Native American costume at a Halloween party, the executive said.
Again, all of this is very, very stupid. McCammond’s tweets were offensive but the fact that she was in high school when she wrote them, not working as a journalist, really ought to matter a lot more to everyone involved, including everyone at Teen Vogue and Ulta Beauty.
But these days any racially-tinged comment at any age, in any context is grounds for termination. I honestly wonder if this is a case of live by the sword, die by the sword. Would Alexi McCammond have been on board with this sort of canceling if she weren’t the target. I honestly don’t know, I’m just guessing that wokeness (and all of the cancel mob behavior it entails) is a prerequisite for a job at Teen Vogue.
Update: Finally took a minute to look and sure enough as a reporter McCammond didn’t think people should hesitate to call out bigotry nor always feel obligated to take the high road when doing so. Sometimes growth/learning don’t matter. But I still don’t think she should have been fired over decade old tweets she posted in high school because she’s wrong. Growth and learning do matter.
Sure, calling someone racist and ending your discussion there will leave no room for growth/learning. But refraining from calling out bigotry or always taking the higher road? Cmon
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) May 13, 2018
Update: Megyn Kelly had a strong reaction to the news.
NO!! This is such bullshit. Why are we doing this to ourselves?? These cruel and unnecessary public humiliations are self-inflicted torture. Please STOP. Remember people’s humanity. Remember grace. Remember how short a time we have and act accordingly. https://t.co/qkMwXJd3x6
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) March 18, 2021