Saying her past anti-Asian and homophobic tweets have overshadowed her work, Alexi McCammond said Thursday that she and publisher Conde Nast have decided to part ways at Teen Vogue.
“I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that,” the journalist said in a statement posted on social media. “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.”
McCammond, who is Black, was tapped as the incoming editor in chief to replace Lindsay Peoples Wagner, but the tweets from when she was a teenager and college student in 2011 resurfaced after the appointment was announced.
Calls for the magazine to replace her were mounting, with more than 20 Teen Vogue staff members posting a statement last week saying they had written management in support of readers and others alarmed by the now-deleted tweets. They noted that McCammond's appointment comes at a time of “historically high anti-Asian violence and amid the ongoing struggles of the LGBTQ community.”
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In an internal email, Conde Nast’s “chief people officer” Stan Duncan told U.S. staff that McCammond’s departure comes as the “best path forward” so as not to "overshadow” Teen Vogue's work to become more equitable and inclusive.
McCammond, 27, was appointed earlier this month by the digital-only Teen Vogue. She had worked as a political journalist in Washington for Axios and was an on-air contributor for MSNBC. Duncan noted she had disclosed the tweets during the hiring process but that Conde Nast was “dedicated to making her successful in this role.”
So what changed? McCammond was due to take over as editor in chief March 24. Last week, one of Teen Vogue's major advertisers, the popular skincare and cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty, announced it had paused ad spending there, saying it stands with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. It did not disclose its Teen Vogue ad budget.
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On Thursday, after word broke that McCammond was out at Teen Vogue, Ulta Beauty said in a statement: “We saw today’s news and are still in discussions with Conde Nast to determine next steps. For the time being, our advertising spend remains paused.”
The tweets first surfaced in 2019, when McCammond said she was “deeply sorry” and that the posts “do not reflect my views or who I am today.” She apologized again after her Teen Vogue appointment, saying on social media "there's no excuse for perpetuating those awful stereotypes in any way.”
On Thursday, McCammond said she became a journalist to “lift up the stories and voices of our most vulnerable communities,” and hopes to do that as a journalist once again.
Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie