After 14 years working as writer for People, Sara Hammel sent her resignation letter to Jess Cagle, the magazine’s editorial director, “and other top editors.” But this wasn’t the kind of formal goodbye email filled with empty thank you’s to her superiors. No, no. Hammel chose to do something a little more incendiary with her final words.
“It’s not me, it’s you,” she begins. “It’s been a wildly dysfunctional 14 years, and you’re an entirely different magazine than when we first got together.” She then calls out staffers for never bothering to learn her name, recalls some of the more memorable interactions she had with celebrities (Jennifer Lopez “kind of” spit on her once), and shames the publication for not allowing her to promote her YA book, despite the fact that they publish plenty of other “schlock.”
But it’s not until she directs her ire at the magazine’s top brass that she really sets this bridge on fire.
This is just what the entitled stars and their batshit crazy publicists put me and many other talented, hard-working reporters through. You people, as it turns out, are worse. Stupidly, we expect loyalty and support from you after years of service. We are naïve. Despite your nicey nice, glossy and chirpy veneer, some of us think of you more as the Leo DiCaprio of magazines, using up every beautiful model that crosses your path (“beautiful model”= “award-winning journalist” in this scenario), discarding them, and pretending you leave no wake behind you.
I’ve survived something like eight rounds of layoffs where talented colleagues were bitch-slapped into oblivion and, I hope, will never give their nights, weekends, relationships and sanity again to keep up with an email chain about whether Jennifer Aniston is pregnant at 47 because of those tummy photos and what kind of mom will she be, when really she just had an extra burrito at lunch; but oh, wait, the rep says it’s just a rumor so there’s no story this week after all.
Godspeed, Sara. I plan on spending at least part of my holiday weekend reading your “mini-memoir” as fireworks explode both inside and outside my apartment.
Image via People.