Alexi McCammond won’t be Teen Vogue’s new editor in chief after all.
The 27-year-old journalist, who was set to start the job next week, is stepping down from her position after receiving backlash for past racist tweets. In a statement shared to Twitter Thursday, McCammond said she’s “decided to part ways” with Condé Nast, the media company behind Teen Vogue and Vogue, and detailed her reasons behind doing so.
“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.
She continued: “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 a professional.”
McCammond said she wishes the Teen Vogue team well and hopes to rejoin “the ranks of tireless journalists who are shining light on issues that matter every single day.”
The news comes after weeks of backlash and discussions around her past tweets since she was named the magazine’s top editor.
Last week, McCammond shared her second letter to the staff and community to address her past “racist and homophobic tweets.”
“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 in the note which she also shared on Twitter.
“As I’ve been having a number of conversations internally with the staff and others outside of Condé Nast, I’ve also been watching, reading, and listening to so many of your concerns that you’ve raised. 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.”
Alexi McCammond’s tweets resurface, staff and Olivia Munn react
McCammond has faced an onslaught of criticism on social media and from the Teen Vogue staff since her role was announced.
More than 20 Teen Vogue staff members condemned McCammond’s “past racist and homophobic tweets” in a public Twitter statement, arguing that her hiring doesn’t align with the outlet’s “inclusive environment” amid rising anti-Asian bigotry and violence.
In a tweet from 2011, McCammond, a teen student at the time, wrote: “Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, Asian eyes.” In another, she wrote: “Outdone by Asian.”
Actress Olivia Munn weighed in, too.
Munn called on McCammond to take responsibility for her past tweets that resurfaced after she was hired, noting that McCommand initially failed to acknowledge her past actions as “racist.”
“I think it’s important for people to hear her say that these were racist comments and there’s nothing excusable about,” Munn told NBC News in an interview Wednesday. “It would just be nice for her to just say exactly what it is. Call it what it is…it was a racist stupid remark.”
Although Munn said McCammond’s past tweets were “triggering” and “hard to read” after facing similar teasing growing up, the actress believes McCammond “should be judged more on how she’s taking the responsibility today.”
“We’ve all said silly things and she was 17 at the time,” Munn said. “So, I definitely think there is, you know, a lot that we have to kind of give her some grace on for that.”
Ulta Beauty pauses Teen Vogue ad spending
National chain Ulta Beauty, a major advertiser at Teen Vogue, paused ad spending at the Condé Nast publication following the public outcry over McCammond’s hiring.
“Diversity and inclusion have always been core values at Ulta Beauty,” the company said in a statement to the Associated Press Thursday. “We stand against racism in all forms and as we’ve publicly shared in our social channels, we stand in unity with the AAPI community. We believe it’s important that our partners share our values.”
Ulta said its partnership with Teen Vogue is contingent on Condé Nast’s next move: “Our discussions with Condé Nast are actively underway as we seek to better understand their next steps and determine ours.”
The incoming Teen Vogue editor has apologized before
This isn’t the first apology for McCammond – who formerly covered Joe Biden’s presidential campaign as a politics reporter for Axios.
She apologized in 2019 when her tweets initially resurfaced after she was named the National Association of Black Journalists’ “Emerging Journalist of the Year.”
“Today, I was reminded of some past insensitive tweets, and I am deeply sorry to anyone I offended,” McCammond said at the time. “I have since deleted those tweets as they do not reflect my views or who I am today.”
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Condé Nast responds: She ‘took responsibility’
Condé Nast initially issued a statement to USA TODAY that said “McCammond was hired because “of the values, inclusivity and depth she has displayed through her journalism.” The company added that she “took responsibility for her social media history and apologized” two years ago.
McCammond apologized again for her offensive remarks Monday in a note sent to staff members, which was provided to USA TODAY by Condé Nast.
“You’ve seen some offensive, idiotic tweets from when I was a teenager that perpetuated harmful and racist stereotypes about Asian Americans,” she wrote. “I apologized for them years ago, but I want to be clear today: I apologize deeply to all of you for the pain this has caused. There’s no excuse for language like that.”
This is not the first time McCammond has been in the news recently. White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo resigned in February after he was suspended for threatening a journalist seeking to cover his relationship with McCammond.
Contributing: Elise Brisco, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
More: White House aide TJ Ducklo resigns after threatening reporter