Newly appointed Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexi McCammond has stepped down amid public backlash stemming from years-old racist tweets.
The publication announced earlier this month that McCammond, 27, would be taking on the position, which she was slated to start next week. On Thursday, she issued a statement on Twitter, indicating that she wouldn’t be assuming the role after all.
“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. My past tweets have overshadowed the work I’ve done to highlight the people and issues that I care about,” she wrote, before saying that she and Conde Nast, Teen Vogue’s parent company, “have decided to part ways.”
McCammond, an MSNBC contributor and former Axios employee, said she shouldn’t have tweeted what she did and has “taken full responsibility” for those remarks.
The tweets in question were written in 2011, when she was a teenager, and included derogatory stereotypes about Asians and slurs about gay people. The tweets resurfaced in the wake of her announcement as editor and prompted more than 20 staff members at Teen Vogue to post on social media and demand that Conde Nast address the situation.
On March 10, McCammond posted a letter apologizing “for my past racist and homophobic tweets” and reiterated “that there’s no excuse for perpetuating those awful stereotypes in any way.”
“I am so sorry to have used such hurtful and inexcusable language,” she wrote, adding that she’d be helping Teen Vogue put together a plan to uplift the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Despite the apology, Ulta Beauty paused its advertising deal — reportedly “worth seven figures” — with Teen Vogue.
In an email to staff obtained by HuffPost, Stan Duncan, the chief people officer at Condé Nast, said Thursday that he and Yashica Olden, Conde Nast’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, were committed to becoming a “more equitable and inclusive” organization.
“It’s fair to say that Alexi McCammond’s appointment with Teen Vogue brought many difficult and important conversations to the forefront over the last few weeks. I want to be fully transparent with you about our decision-making process regarding her appointment,” Duncan said, before explaining her racist tweets and her subsequent acknowledgment of and apology for those tweets.
“We were hopeful that Alexi would become part of our team to provide perspective and insight that is underrepresented throughout media. We were dedicated to making her successful in this role and spent time working with her, our company leadership and the Teen Vogue team to find the best path forward,” he wrote.
Duncan went on to say that after speaking with McCammond, they later “agreed that it was best to part ways, so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue.”