Teen Vogue Editor-In-Chief Resigns Before Her First Day Following Backlash Over Xenophobic Tweets Made As A Teen
The 27-year-old faced backlash from Teen Vogue's employees over past tweets she made about Asian people.
March 18, 2021 at 5:43 pm
Former Axios reporter Alexi McCammond has parted ways with Teen Vogue after employees of the magazine raised concerns about her past xenophobic tweets about the Asian community.
In 2011, when McCammond was 17, she tweeted “googling how to not wake up with swollen, Asian eyes,” and in another tweet called a teacher's assistant at her school a “stupid Asian,” according to The Hill.
“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,” she wrote at the time.
She also had homophobic tweets, according to a statement from Teen Vogue's staff.
As Blavity previously reported, McCammond was just announced as the magazine's newest editor-in-chief at the beginning of March.
The embattled journalist released a statement on Twitter Thursday afternoon explaining her decision to resign from the position with Conde Nast, the parent company of Teen Vogue, before her first day.
"I became a journalist to help lift up the stories and voices of our most vulnerable communities. As a young woman of color, that's part of the reason I was so excited to lead the Teen Vogue team in its next chapter," she wrote.
"My past tweets have overshadowed the work I've done to highlight the people and issues that I care about — issues that Teen Vogue has worked tirelessly to share with the world — and so Conde Nast and I have decided to part ways. I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that," her statement read.
Hey there: I’ve decided to part ways with Condé Nast. Here is my statement about why – pic.twitter.com/YmnHVtZSce
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) March 18, 2021
"I look at my work and growth in the years since and have redoubled my commitment to growing in the years to come as both a person and as a professional. I wish the talented team at Teen Vogue the absolute best moving forward. Their work has never been more important, and I will be rooting for them," she added.
"There are so many stories left to be told, especially those about marginalized communities and the issues affecting them. I hope to have the opportunity to rejoin the ranks of tireless journalists who are shining light on the issues that matter every single day," the statement concluded.
The controversy swirling around McCammond comes as the country reckons with a wave of violence directed toward people of Asian descent. On Monday, a man in Georgia killed six people of Asian descent in three separate shootings, and there has been a startling increase in assaults on women and the elderly.
After Teen Vogue announced that McCammond would be taking over as editor-in-chief, multiple employees criticized its decision and banded together to release a statement about her past.
"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," the staff members wrote.
A note from teen vogue’s staff pic.twitter.com/oyfhN0mlk8
— Allegra Kirkland (@allegrakirkland) March 8, 2021
According to The Washington Post, McCammond apologized publicly and internally to the staff for her past tweets, but it was unclear if her apologies were accepted by the staff.
Variety reported that McCammond brought the tweets up during the interview process with Teen Vogue, but things changed once the magazine's staff got wind of her hiring.
Ulta Beauty, one of the magazine's biggest advertisers, announced that they were pausing their ad campaign with Teen Vogue last week, according to The Daily Beast.
Additionally, The New York Times had a trove of inside details about what was going on inside of Teen Vogue. McCammond had been sitting in meetings with Teen Vogue employees to hear them out as Anna Wintour, the chief content officer and the global editorial director of Vogue, tried to push past the controversy.
Wintour had previously pledged to do more to give Black editors, writers and photographers space in the magazine empire and she believed McCammond's past apologies were enough to satisfy those angered by the tweets, according to The New York Times.
But things took a turn this week when Wintour canceled a meeting between her, the new editor-in-chief of Vogue China, Margaret Zhang, McCammond and other editors at the magazine.
McCammond has had a tumultuous few months in the headlines. She made a name for herself at Axios and worked her way into becoming a contributor on MSNBC. But she faced backlash when she revealed that she was dating T.J. Ducklo, a press assistant for President Joe Biden's campaign. She later resigned from her Axios position, as Blavity previously reported.
Ducklo was forced to resign from the White House after a female reporter said he berated her for asking about his relationship with McCammond.