More than 20 members of Teen Vogue’s staff have written to publisher Condé Nast expressing concerns over incoming editor in chief Alexi McCammond after past racist and homophobic tweets were again unearthed.
“We’ve heard the concerns of our readers, and we stand with you. In a moment of historically high anti-Asian violence and amid the ongoing struggles of the LGBTQ community, we as the staff of Teen Vogue fully reject those sentiments,” part of a statement shared on Twitter read. “We are hopeful that an internal conversation will prove fruitful in maintaining the integrity granted to us by our audience.”
McCammond has not yet publicly commented, but as first reported by The Daily Beast, on Monday evening she sent a note to staffers stating: “I’m beyond sorry for what you have experienced over the last 24 hours because of me. You’ve seen some offensive, idiotic tweets from when I was a teenager that perpetuated harmful and racist stereotypes about Asian Americans. I apologized for them years ago, but I want to be clear today: I apologize deeply to all of you for the pain this has caused.”
She continued: “There’s no excuse for language like that. I am determined to use the lessons I’ve learned as a journalist to advocate for a more diverse and equitable world. Those tweets aren’t who I am, but I understand that I have lost some of your trust, and will work doubly hard to earn it back.”
Some of the tweets were shared on Instagram over the weekend by Diana Tsui, editorial director of restaurant recommendation site The Infatuation, with the caption, “I’m tired of big media organizations pretending to give a damn about diversity and inclusion. And this especially is a slap in the face given what’s happened to Asian Americans in the past year.”
Anti-Asian hate crimes have risen dramatically over the last year, ignited by racist allusions by politicians, like former president Donald Trump, to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of McCammond’s tweets said, “now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes.” Another 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.”
Both were from 2011 when McCammond was in college. When the tweets were first publicized in 2019, when McCammond was a political reporter at Axios, she apologized on Twitter, stating: “Today I was reminded of some past insensitive tweets, and I am deeply sorry to anyone I offended. I have since deleted those tweets as they do not reflect my views or who I am today.”
Among the many to comment on Tsui’s post was actress Olivia Munn, who said: “What the actual f–k.”
Also over the weekend, Benjamin O’Keefe, a frontrunner for the editor position at Teen Vogue before McCammond was named, unearthed more tweets, this time homophobic in nature.
A representative for Condé Nast said: “Alexi McCammond was appointed editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue because of the values, inclusivity and depth she has displayed through her journalism. Throughout her career she has dedicated herself to being a champion for marginalized voices. Two years ago she took responsibility for her social media history and apologized.”
McCammond, who is 27 and never before been an editor, was unveiled as Teen Vogue’s new editor in chief on Friday. She is set to take the reins from Lindsay Peoples Wagner, who left earlier this year to take the top job at The Cut.
During her time at Axios, McCammond was a leading reporter covering Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. She also appeared on NBC and MSNBC as a contributor and sat down with elected officials for “Axios on HBO.”
This is the third time this year McCammond’s name has made it into headlines, as opposed to bylines. Last month, her boyfriend, TJ Ducklo, then a White House deputy press secretary, resigned after it emerged he threatened to “destroy” a Politico reporter who inquired about his relationship with McCammond, in addition to other derogatory remarks. Before the Politico story ran, People interviewed the couple for a feature titled “Reporter Forgoes Covering President as Romance Blossoms With Biden Aide Battling Cancer: ‘Didn’t Think Twice.’” It reported that she had requested to be taken off the Biden beat and was reassigned to cover progressive lawmakers in Congress and progressives across the U.S., as well as Vice President Kamala Harris.
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