More than 20 members of Teen Vogue’s staff have issued a joint statement condemning the hiring of Alexi McCammond, a former political reporter for Axios, who was recently named the site’s new editor-in-chief.
Not long after news broke last week that McCammond, 27, would lead the newsroom, did old tweets of hers begin resurfacing on social media, some of which included anti-Asian sentiments.
“Outdone by an Asian #whatsnew,” McCammond wrote in one 2011 tweet. “Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes,” she wrote in another, from around the same time. In a third, she blames a “stupid asian T.A.” for getting a bad grade on her chemistry homework.
These tweets were widely circulated over the weekend in an Instagram post by Diana Tsui, the current editorial director for recommendations at the Infatuation. McCammond apologized for the tweets in 2019, after a viral tweet of hers about an offensive interaction she had with basketball player Charles Barkley on the 2020 presidential campaign trail spurred Twitter users to excavate her social media history.
“Today I was reminded of some past insensitive tweets, and I am deeply sorry to anyone I offended,” McCammond tweeted at the time. “I have since deleted those tweets as they do not reflect my views or who I am today.”
But in their Monday statement, Teen Vogue staff members say they remain concerned about how McCammond’s hiring reflects on the outlet, which ramped up its social justice-oriented political coverage following the 2016 election.
“We’ve built our outlet’s reputation on a voice for justice and change—we take immense pride in our work and in creating an inclusive environment,” the statement reads. “That’s why we’ve written a letter to management at Condé Nast about the recent hire of Alexi McCammond as our new editor-in-chief in light of her past racist and homophobic tweets.
“We’ve heard the concerns of our readers and we stand with you,” the statement continues. “In a moment of historically high anti-Asian violence and amid the on-going struggles of the LGBTQ community, we as the staff of Teen Vogue fully reject those sentiments. We are hopeful that an internal conversation will prove fruitful in maintaining the integrity granted to us by our audience.”
According to the Daily Beast, Teen Vogue staffers have also met privately with Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s global chief content officer, and CEO Roger Lynch to discuss their concerns about the hiring process.
Neither Teen Vogue nor Condé Nast have publicly commented on staff’s concerns about McCammond, or addressed her former tweets, as of this writing. Jezebel has reached out for comment and we’ll update this post if we hear back.
Update, 3/9/21, 5:13 p.m.: A Condé Nast spokesperson sent the following email:
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.
Last night, she shared the following with our teams:
I’m beyond sorry for what you have experienced over the last twenty-four hours because of me. You’ve seen some offensive, idiotic tweets from when I was a teenager that perpetuated harfmul 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. 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. I want you to know I am committed to amplifying AAPI voices across our platforms, and building upon the groundbreaking, inclusive work this title is known for the worldover.