More than 20 Teen Vogue staffers sent a letter to Condé Nast management to rebuke the recent hiring of Alexi McCammond as the magazine’s new editor in chief in light of her “past racist and homophobic tweets,” according to a statement shared Monday on social media.
“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. 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,” the staff members said in a statement on Monday. “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.”
A representative for Teen Vogue and Condé Nast did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Over the weekend, some of McCammond’s past tweets — in which she mocked and shared racist commentary about Asian people in 2011 — began circulating on Instagram after Diana Tsui, the editorial director of The Infatuation and a former editor at The Cut, created a post compiling screenshots of McCammond’s past tweets and calling out Condé Nast’s decision to hire her.
“Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes…” McCammond wrote in one of the past tweets.
“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 in another.
In 2019, when McCammond’s anti-Asian tweets last resurfaced, McCammond apologized for her “past insensitive tweets.” “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,” she said at the time.
Still, Tsui’s Instagram post caught the attention of a number of journalists and industry figures, including actress Olivia Munn, fashion bloggers Susie Lau (a.k.a. Susie Bubble) and Bryan Grey Yambao (a.k.a. Bryan Boy), New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz and celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh.
“I’m tired of big media organizations pretending to give a damn about diversity and inclusion. And this especially is a slap in the face given what’s happened to Asian Americans in the past year,” Tsui wrote in the caption to her post.
Later on Monday, McCammond sent an email to staff to apologize for her “offensive, idiotic tweets.”
“You’ve seen some offensive, idiotic tweets from when I was a teenager that perpetuated harmful 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,” McCammond wrote. “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 world over.”
“I’m heartbroken by the nasty vitriol some of you have experienced in the wake of this situation. It is completely unacceptable. But as we navigate through this together, what matters to me is crushing the work we do,” she continued. “My number one mission in leading you through this next chapter is to make you all feel more confident, comfortable, and fearless in your storytelling and the boundaries we can push together as a team. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for this opportunity and for sticking with me.”