A new literary magazine, set to be run by former The New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier, has been shuttered just a week before its scheduled launch after Wieseltier apologized following accusations of sexual harassment.
“For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness. The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected,” Wieseltier said in a statement provided to several media outlets. “I assure them that I will not waste this reckoning.”
Wieseltier’s now-canceled magazine, Idea, was backed by Emerson Collective, the for-profit organization led by philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs.
“Upon receiving information related to past inappropriate workplace conduct, Emerson Collective ended its business relationship with Leon Wieseltier, including a journal planned for publication under his editorial direction. The production and distribution of the journal has been suspended,” the organization said Tuesday.
Wieseltier also apologized to the Idea staff, who have been let go. “I am profoundly sorry to my extraordinary collaborators at the journal we began together that the misdeeds of my past have made it impossible to go forward,” he said in his statement. “My gratitude to them is boundless.”
Accusations of sexual harassment first began circulating among former The New Republic staffers shortly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, according to Politico. The accusations reportedly include nonconsensual kisses, inappropriate sexual discussions, and unwanted sexual advances.
Wieseltier left The New Republic in 2014 as part of a staff exodus after then-owner, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, fired editor Franklin Foer. In a statement provided to the New York Times, Hughes said it had received complaints about Wieseltier’s behavior from a female employee, and that “we directed Mr. Wieseltier to immediately cease any communication with her, and I made sure he knew The New Republic had a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment of any kind.”