Politics Reporter Alexi McCammond made a name for herself while working at the Washington news site, Axios. McCammond landed a job as the editor-in-chief for Teen Vogue and was supposed to start her dream job this week until her world changed in seconds after staff members at Teen Vogue publicly condemned racist and homophobic tweets that she had posted a decade ago.
McCammond covered President Biden’s campaign for Axios and was a contributor to MSNBC and NBC. McCammond was named the emerging journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists. McCammond would have been the third Black woman to serve as teen vogue’s top editor, after Lindsay Wagner and Elaine Welterworth.
McCammond’s tweets included comments on the appearance of Asian features, derogatory stereotypes about Asians, and slurs for gay people. McCammond apologized for the tweets when they first resurfaced in 2019 and deleted them. The tweets were then recirculated through screenshots after her hiring at Teen Vogue was announced on March 5.
This has been a huge public relations crisis. Public relations instructor Jana Tidwell had a lot to say. “It is understood that McCammond was young and stupid when she released those degrading tweets but now being young and dumb has a disadvantage because it’s all out on social media and will haunt you for the rest of your life,” Tidewell said.
Tidwell is the mother of two bi-racial children and often has to have uncomfortable conversations in her home about why people are racist and why they act this way toward people of color. “Racism is taught at home, no one is born racist,” Tidwell said. McCammond is also bi-racial, which is why this behavior came as a shock to the world. “As I said I have uncomfortable conversations with my children at home and they often face difficulties in life being bi-racial but this, however, does not give them any type of pass to stereotype against any other race nor should it allow McCammond to get off the hook with it either,” Tidwell added.
McCammond resigned from the job on March 18 and felt it would be best for Teen Vogue. As the magazine industry has been on the decline for years now since many people do not read magazines, Vogue must do whatever they can to make money. Since big brands refused to advertise in the teen vogue magazine due to McCammond’s actions, Teen Vogue could not afford any other brands backing out of advertising in the magazine.
A situation like McCammond’s is obviously not new. McCammond’s is what is referred to as “canceled” right now in this day and age. “There is a lot of learning and work that has to be done but McCammond definitely regrets the decisions that she had made in the past and probably did not realize that these tweets from years back would come back to haunt her. From a public relations perspective, I hope McCammond not only learns from these mistakes but also does something to help this cause and gets a great job someday,” Tidwell added.