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Now-canceled Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Alexi McCammond “does not have a racist bone in her body,” according to a former colleague who says he is outraged over her ouster.
McCammond, a 27-year-old political scribe who in 2019 was named the emerging journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists, resigned from Teen Vogue on Thursday after offensive tweets about Asians that she had made as a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Chicago resurfaced.
McCammond, who had apologized and deleted the tweets in 2019, had been slated to start her new job at the top of the Conde Nast magazine next week.
“I was just really sad to see this happen,” said Jonathan Swan, national correspondent for Axios, where McCammond had worked as a political reporter covering Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
“I worked with her for four years,” Swan said in an appearance on Fox News show “America’s Newsroom.” “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?”
Shortly after McCammond’s tweets surfaced, over 20 staffers at Teen Vogue reportedly registered their discomfort with the pick to Conde Nast chief content officer Anna Wintour and company CEO Roger Lynch. The Asian American Journalists Association also called on Conde Nast to rescind the job offer.
“I was upset to see this because it really is just a very stark example of if we can’t allow ourselves to forgive people when they did something or said something or tweeted something when they were 17 years old, and there is no indication in their current professional lives that they harbor these views, not a single indication, I don’t know what we’re doing here really,” Swan said.
He noted that she had not been fired in 2019 by Axios when the tweets originally surfaced.
McCammond apologized twice during the recent uproar, first in a memo to the Teen Vogue staff and then in an apology more widely distributed.
But despite efforts by Conde Nast brass to ride out the controversy, McCammond on Thursday tweeted that she withdrew after she and Conde Nast had decided she would not join the company. And she offered a third apology for her past tweets.
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