Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with an apology from Alexi McCammond addressed to the Teen Vogue staff.
Social media users are calling for the removal of Teen Vogue’s new editor-in-chief after her anti-Asian tweets from as early as 2011 resurfaced.
Alexi McCammond, who was most recently a reporter for Axios, will take on the editorial role from March 24, according to publisher Condé Nast.
“Alexi has the powerful curiosity and confidence that embodies the best of our next generation of leaders,” Anna Wintour, global editorial director of Vogue and chief content officer of Condé Nast, said in a news release on Thursday.
“Her interest in fashion, wellness and important issues in the lives of the Teen Vogue audience and broad knowledge of business leaders, elected officials, influencers, photographers and filmmakers is unrivaled, and I’m so very pleased that she will be bringing her expertise and talents to our team.”
We’re pleased to announce that Teen Vogue’s new editor in chief is Alexi McCammond (@alexi)! Welcome to the team, Alexi ✨ Learn more about our new EIC —> https://t.co/qfCqEr3AkI pic.twitter.com/7E5nWPXUmQ
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) March 5, 2021
Following the announcement, several Instagram users brought up some of McCammond’s racist tweets from 2011 and 2012.
“Outdone by Asian,” she wrote in one tweet, adding the hashtag “#whatsnew.”
McCammond’s controversial tweets first surfaced in 2019 after she called out “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley for jokingly threatening violence against her. She has since apologized, noting that her tweets no longer reflect her current views.
Diana Tsui, editorial director of restaurant guide The Infatuation, described McCammond as a “questionable hire” in an Instagram post. She mentioned that Condé Nast should have addressed McCammond’s problematic past, especially since her appointment comes amid a rise in anti-Asian violence across the country.
“Maybe we can give her some benefit of the doubt as these were done when she was still a student,” Tsui wrote. “But her ‘apology,’ which was only after people caught them in 2019, referred to them as ‘deeply insensitive.’ They are insensitive, they are racist.”
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“Teen Vogue has positioned itself as a champion of inclusiveness and empowerment. Is this truly a leader who also embodies these beliefs?” Tsui asks. “Would a leader pre-emptively 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?”
Stephen Alain Ko, a cosmetic and skincare formulator who has featured Teen Vogue articles in his website’s #BeautyRecap series, also criticized McCammond’s appointment on Instagram: “Condé Nast, this is not the fashion, beauty or political leadership we deserve… In 2021, I would be disappointed in a magazine that I contributed free labour to — for making a decision that pushed me back into the margins.”
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Writer Arabelle Sicardi also took a jab at Condé Nast. “It’s like they want to fail into obsolescence,” she wrote in an Instagram Story.
Sicardi, who has contributed to Teen Vogue, went on to highlight the prevalence of anti-Asian sentiment in the fashion and media industry. She described McCammond’s hiring as “an affirmation of white supremacy.”
“It is a distinct lack of care for the Asian employees and other people of color that will have to work under new management.”
NextShark has reached out to both McCammond and Condé Nast for comment. An email apology from McCammond was addressed to the staff at Teen Vogue on Monday evening:
I can’t thank you enough for making time to chat with me today and for sharing your thoughts. I’m beyond sorry for what you have experienced over the last twenty-four hours because of me. 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. 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. 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.
Feature Image via Getty