ONLINE UNDER FIRE: In this age of nanosecond reporting and near-universal stream-of-conscious “status” updating (editors included) via social media, it’s easy to forget to think before you tweet. Take New York Times staffers Horacio Silva and Andy Port, who have landed themselves in hot, if a bit murky, water thanks to off-color and off-the-cuff comments they posted on T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s The Moment Twitter account and blog, respectively, over the long weekend.
This story first appeared in the January 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Silva, online director at T, was play-by-play tweeting (complete with initialed byline) about Golden Globes fashion on Sunday, when he asked The Moment’s nearly 1.6 million followers: “Is Michael C. Hall playing Bob Marley in an upcoming movie? Don’t get the hat or what he is hiding under it. HS” He was referring to the “Dexter” actor’s dark-colored beanie, which was presumably related to Hall’s recent revelation that he’d undergone treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (Last week, Hall said he was in remission.) And after several immediate reader responses via retweet, Silva got his answer; the offending post was deleted and an apology tweeted: “So sorry that Michael C. Hall has had cancer. Thanks for clarifying why he is wearing a knitted skull cap. HS”
That Silva’s tweet was picked up by Web sites including Gawker and Perez Hilton only served to further lodge Silva’s foot in his mouth. “It was a question I posed entirely without malice,” Silva told WWD Tuesday. “I know from the effect it had on my family, how devastating cancer can be and it’s not something that I take lightly. I apologize for any hurt that I may have caused.” (Brian D. Johnson, senior entertainment writer and film critic at Canadian magazine Macleans, offered a similarly insensitive comment regarding Hall’s headgear on macleans.ca in his “live-to-tape” award show blog on Monday. The mention and related reader comments were swiftly deleted by his editors, and an apology has now been tacked on to Johnson’s entry.)
Meanwhile, T executive editor Port didn’t hold back in her Golden Globes wrap-up, posted on Monday evening on T’s The Moment blog. The topic? Several attendees’ “sexier curves.” Accompanied by red-carpet shots of Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Courteney Cox, Port’s piece — still online as of press time — began, “Maybe it’s just me, but I could have sworn that some of the ladies who showed up at the Golden Globes on Sunday had put on a little weight.” — Nick Axelrod
PEER ADVICE: Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour will meet French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi during Paris Couture Week to discuss issues including ways to promote and finance up-and-coming designers. Also attending the Jan. 25 meeting will be Elisabeth Quin, the French journalist who was named in September to oversee the couture and ready-to-wear industries on behalf of the ministry. Wintour recently said she did not think Paris was doing enough to support young designers. “I think when France is so known for its fashion industry — for them not to be reaching out to help younger people today is really a shame,” she said in a clip posted on the Sundance Channel’s Web site. Vogue joined forces with the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003 to create the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which has helped launch the careers of designers including Alexander Wang, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler and Thakoon Panichgul of Thakoon. The closest French equivalent is the ANDAM award, bestowed by the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts on designers under 40 seeking to expand their businesses in France. The award is not limited to French designers — previous winners include Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh and Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren of Viktor & Rolf. — Joelle Diderich