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More than twenty Teen Vogue staffers penned a letter to management condemning incoming Editor-in-Chief Alexi McCammond for since-deleted racist tweets from 2011.
On March 8, Teen Vogue senior political editor Allegra Kirkland condemned McCammond for a series of anti-Asian tweets. Kirkland announced that she, among others, had written to Conde Nast complaining about the company’s choice to hire McCammond.
“As more than 20 members of the staff of Teen Vogue, we’ve built our outlet’s reputation as a voice for justice and change — we take immense pride in our work and in creating an inclusive environment,” Kirkland wrote. “That’s why we have 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.”
“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,” Kirkland said.
A note from teen vogue’s staff pic.twitter.com/oyfhN0mlk8
— Allegra Kirkland (@allegrakirkland) March 8, 2021
McCammond’s tweets were made in 2011, while she was still in college. Her first tweet read, “outdone by Asian #whatsnew.” Another tweet read, “now Googling how to not wake up with swollen, Asian eyes…”
A third tweet 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.”
McCammond made headlines earlier in the year after her relationship with a former Biden administration aide, TJ Ducklo was exposed. Ducklo has since resigned from the Biden administration after threatening a Politico reporter who was looking to report on the relationship. Conde Nast hired McCammond shortly after to tackle political issues for the fashion magazine.
During her time at Axios, McCammond apologized for the resurfaced tweets.
“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,” McCammond said on Nov. 20, 2019.
Diana Tsui, the editorial director at the publication Infatuation, ripped into McCammond and Conde Nast for their “questionable hire” in an Instagram post. Tsui said McCammond’s apology was insufficient.
“She had a series of racist tweets in 2011. Maybe we can give her some benefit of the doubt as these were done when she was still a student. But her ‘apology,’ which was only after people caught them in 2019, referred to them as ‘deeply insensitive.’ They are not insensitive, they are racist.”
Tsui said that this is not an example of cancel culture, instead, it’s an example of “accountability.”
“When we talk about accountability versus cancel culture, we need to talk about how this should have been addressed, not just by her but also Teen Vogue and Conde Nast as a whole, especially in light of the current national discourse about Asian racism,” Tsui wrote. “Teen Vogue has positioned itself as a champion of inclusiveness and empowerment. Is this truly a leader who also embodies these beliefs? Would a leader preemptively acknowledge the hurt caused by past actions with a future plan of action or would a leader just ignore it and hope no one does a Google search?”
Jim VandeHei, the CEO and co-founder of Axios, came to McCammond’s defense on Twitter advocating that she is a “great, strong, caring leader.”
“I worked [with Alexi] for nearly four years at Axios: she lived her true character: worked her ass off, constantly advocating for ALL individuals and groups,” VandeHei said. “Actions [equal] values and soul. She apologized long ago; grew big time. Big [heart]; great, strong, caring leader.”