Journalist Alexi McCammond announced on Thursday afternoon that she will not become the top editor of Condé Nast publication Teen Vogue after a backlash over anti-Asian tweets she had written as a college student in 2011.
She had been set to start in the role on March 24.
McCammond’s hiring drew criticism among the general public and among a group of Teen Vogue staffers after her tweets re-surfaced following the news of her appointment. A group of more than 20 employees sent a letter to magazine management voicing their concerns about McCammond’s past statements and announced their displeasure in a statement published on Twitter on March 8.
A major advertiser, Ulta Beauty, had “paused” a campaign with the magazine.
McCammond, 27, who came to Teen Vogue after four years at the political news site Axios, addressed criticism of her past comments in her note announcing she will not take on the role.
“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 tirelessly to share with the world – and so Condé Nast and I have decided to part ways,” McCammond said in a statement she posted to Twitter on Thursday. “I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that.”
McCammond had previously apologized, both internally and externally, after the staff uproar had become public. In objecting to her hiring, the staff’s letter made reference to “historically high anti-Asian violence,” an issue made even more salient following the murder on Wednesday of a group of eight people that included six Asian women in Georgia.
“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,” Condé Nast chief people officer Stan Duncan said in an internal memo Thursday.
Duncan said McCammond had been transparent about her past tweets during her hiring process. Explaining the company’s rationale in extending her the offer, he cited “her previous acknowledgement of these posts and her sincere apologies, in addition to her remarkable work in journalism elevating the voices of marginalized communities.”
He said McCammond’s departure was the best course of action “so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue.”
McCammond, who is also an MSNBC contributor, had found herself in the news even before she was hired at Teen Vogue. During her tenure at Axios, McCammond began dating a press aide for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, T.J. Ducklo, prompting her to move last fall to a beat that would not involve covering the White House. After Ducklo lashed out at a Politico journalist who planned to write about their relationship, he resigned his position in the Biden administration.
In 2019, McCammond was also in the spotlight after she revealed on Twitter a heated exchange she had with former NBA star Charles Barkley, who she said had told her “I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you” when she asked him a question about politics.
Barkley, an analyst for Turner Sports, apologized for the remarks. It was after that incident that McCammond’s 2011 tweets began circulating.
In her note on Thursday, McCammond said that she plans to continue working in journalism.
“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,” she wrote. “There are so many stories left to be told, especially those about marginalized communities and the issues affecting them. I hope to have the opportunity to re-join the ranks of tireless journalists who are shining light on the issues that matter every single day.”