REVEALED: Former Teen Vogue editor stoked rebellion over her successor Alexi McCammond by telling staff that she’d warned Condé Nast about racist tweets
- Alexi McCammond, 27, was announced as Lindsay Peoples Wagner’s replacement as editor in chief of Teen Vogue on March 4
- McCammond was forced to resign two weeks later amid fierce backlash over anti-Asian tweets she posted back in 2011
- A Washington Post report published Sunday revealed that Peoples Wagner reached out to her former staffers to warn them about McCammond
- Peoples Wagner reportedly told staff she had not put McCammond on her list of proposed successors
- She also said that she’d warned Condé Nast that McCammond’s racist tweets could resurface and throw her appointment at Teen Vogue into chaos
The outgoing editor of Teen Vogue who was set to be replaced by Alexi McCammond warned Condé Nast and former staff about her racist tweets, a new report claims.
McCammond, 27, was announced as Lindsay Peoples Wagner’s replacement as editor in chief of Teen Vogue on March 4, before anti-Asian tweets she posted in 2011 resurfaced on social media and landed her in hot water. She had not even started in her new role when she announced her resignation on March 18.
The Washington Post published an analysis of the scandal on Sunday, which revealed that Peoples Wagner, who came on as editor in chief in 2018, had contacted her former staffers to warn them about McCammond.
Peoples Wagner reportedly told the staff that she had not put McCammond on her list of proposed successors.
She also said that she’d warned Condé Nast that McCammond’s tweets could resurface and throw her appointment at Teen Vogue into chaos.
Former Teen Vogue editor in chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner (left) reportedly reached out to magazine staff to warn them about her successor Alexi McCammond (right)
According to the Post, Teen Vogue staffers felt blindsided by McCammond’s appointment and aired their concerns at a meeting with Condé Nast chief Anna Wintour.
In a joint statement after that meeting, staffers sought to distance themselves from McCammond, writing: ‘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.’
McCammond later apologized to staff in an email and set up one-on-one meetings to clear the air.
However that did little to quell frustrations among the staffers who were particularly puzzled when they learned that Condé Nast knew about McCammond’s tweets but didn’t warn about the controversy that could arise around them.
Condé Nast executives have said that they felt the apology McCammond issued about the tweets in 2019 would override any backlash.
‘What they failed to realize is that there is an apology and then there is making amends,’ Bonnie Morrison, a diversity consultant and former Men’s Vogue staffer, told the Post.
‘The entire fashion industry has revolved around Anna Wintour for years, and she is not someone who is well-positioned to determine which apologies are sufficient. Nor is she used to losing control of a situation.’
Tweets that McCammond penned back in 2011 – when she was 17 and still in high school – began circulating on Twitter last month
McCammond – who previously worked as a political journalist for Axios – was an unlikely pick for Teen Vogue’s editor in chief from the start, given her lack of experience in editing or managing a staff.
But she managed to catch the eye of Wintour, who in announcing her new role wrote: ‘Alexi has the powerful curiosity and confidence that embodies the best of our next generation of leaders.’
It didn’t take long for a firestorm to erupt around McCammond’s appointment after tweets that she penned back in 2011 – when she was 17 and still in high school – began circulating on Twitter.
In one she wrote how she was ‘Googling how to not wake up with swollen Asian eyes’.
In another from the same year, she blamed a ‘stupid Asian’ teaching assistant for her failures during chemistry lessons.
Other tweets used the terms ‘Asian’, ‘homo’ and ‘gay’ in a derogatory ways.
The tweets prompted a revolt from several staff on the magazine, but Wintour -who serves as Vogue editor and Global Chief Content Office for publisher Condé Nast – was reportedly determined to stand by McCammond.
McCammond previously apologized for the tweets, which she had deleted several years ago.
McCammond issued the statement above announcing her resignation on March 18
McCammond – who previously worked as a political journalist for Axios – was an unlikely pick for Teen Vogue’s editor in chief from the start, given her lack of experience in editing or managing a staff
She offered a new apology in a message sent to Teen Vogue’s staff and its readers days after her new role was announced.
‘This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life in large part because of the intense pain I know my words and my announcement have caused so many of you,’ she wrote.
‘I’ve apologized for my past racist and homophobic tweets and will reiterate that there’s no excuse for perpetuating those awful stereotypes in any way.’
Wintour was aware of the decade-old racist tweets and discussed them with leaders of color at Condé Nast before the job was offered, The New York Times reported.
Wintour tried to build support for the would-be Teen Vogue editor, the paper said, and included her in team meetings.
McCammond met individually to try to ease their concerns, and explained her actions in a note.
But the actions appears to do little to placate angry staff and advertisers, with Ulta Beauty pulling a seven-figure ad deal.
Anna Wintour -who serves as Vogue editor and Global Chief Content Office for publisher Condé Nast – was reportedly determined to stand by McCammond
On March 18 – days before she was slated to start the new role – McCammond officially stood down, releasing a statement which read: ‘Hey there: I’ve decided to part ways with Condé Nast.’
‘My past tweets have overshadowed the work I’ve done to highlight the people and issues that I care about – issues that Teen Vogue has worked so tirelessly to share with the world – and so Conde Nast an I have decided to part ways.
‘I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that.
‘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,’ she said.
She received an outpouring of support from many high-profile media figures, including her former Axios colleague, Jonathan Swan.
Swan, the chief national correspondent for news site Axios who worked alongside McCammond for four years, told Fox News on Friday that McCammond’s apology should have sufficed and she should have been allowed to keep her job.
‘I worked with her for four years. She doesn’t have a racist bone in her body.
‘If we can’t as an industry accept somebody’s sincere and repeated apologies for something they tweeted when they were 17 years old, what are we doing?’
McCammond and her boyfriend TJ Ducklo are pictured out for a walk on March 20 – two days after she stepped down as editor in chief of Teen Vogue
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