Incoming Teen Vogue EIC Alexi McCammond has come under fire for a series of racist tweets posted in 2011. While the tweets were removed in 2019, they have been documented in a Crossing Broad article. When they began to circulate on social media again, the anti-Asian statements ignited discussion among prominent editors—particularly in light of the #StopAsianHate movement, which is spawned from recent violent acts towards Asian-Americans.
Following Condé Nast’s Friday announcement that McCammond, a 27-year-old Axios political reporter, will lead the magazine, Diana Tsui, editorial director, recommendations at The Infatuation and former fashion editor at New York Magazine, shared a series of Instagram posts. “You cannot have an editor-in-chief with a history of racist tweets. Especially right now when we’re finally understanding that anti-racism can and should include Asian-Americans,” Tsui wrote on Instagram Stories on Saturday.
Tsui then moved the discussion to her main feed. The post, below, includes screen grabs of McCammond’s deleted tweets, as well as questions about her appointment to top of the masthead at Teen Vogue—a title well-regarded for its diversity and inclusivity. “Is this truly a leader who also embodies these beliefs?,” Tsui wrote. “Would a leader preemptively 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?”
View this post on Instagram
Tsui’s post garnered significant attention. Among those who liked it included notable EICs, directors, and editors such as Marie Claire’s Sally Holmes and Wanyi Jiang, Harpers Bazaar’s Nikki Ogunnaike, Cosmopolitan’s Cassie Anderson, NYLON’s Lauren McCarthy, Fashionista.com’s Tyler McCall, L’Officiel’s Joshua Glass, and stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.
Comments on the post by Paper’s Mario Abad, WWD’s Victor Qunnuell Vaughns Jr. and Alexa Tietjen, and former editors Lauren Chan and Kahlana Barfield Brown expressed shock and disappointment over McCammond’s EIC appointment in light of the tweets, as well as her 2019 Twitter apology for them.
Influencers Bryanboy, Susie Lau (AKA Susie Bubble), and Vanessa Hong, writers Elizabeth Denton and Thessaly La Force, art critic Jerry Saltz, makeup artist Mai Quynh, stylist Rachael Wang, and Carolina Herrera VP Jodie Chan shared similar sentiments in the comments. Designer Prabal Gurung, fashion critic Evan Ross Katz, U Beauty founder Tina Craig, and Shrimpton Couture’s Cherie Balch reposted Tsui to their own profiles too.
The topic was picked up and re-shared by industry watchdogs Diet Prada, where it has also gained the attention of Mickey Boardman, influencer Lyn Slater, and designer Phillip Lim.
Diet Prada and Tsui’s posts have collectively garnered over 55,000 likes since being published online.“This is really sad,” activist and producer Benjamin O’Keefe—a finalist for the Teen Vogue EIC role—commented on Diet Prada’s post. Abad, from Paper, and O’Keefe also pointed out that McCammond has posted several tweets containing homophobic language in the past, which appear to have been deleted.
Countless comments on Tsui’s and Diet Prada’s posts have questioned McCammond’s appointment and called for a full apology. Actresses like Olivia Munn and Jamie Chung also weighed in with their shock and disappointment.
Tina Craig wrote: “Who we were as teens may not reflect who we are today, but it’s her response to critics (now, as an adult) that has caused concern. And if she is to helm one of the most widely read teen magazines in the world, she needs to lead by example: Apologize and acknowledge the blatantly racist tweets, not dismiss them as merely being ‘insensitive,’” the comment, which has gained over 1,600 likes, reads.
In light of the controversy, McCammond has turned her own Instagram account to private. Neither McCammond, Teen Vogue, nor Condé Nast has publicly commented on the matter.