Recently, Teen Vogue’s newly appointed Editor-in-Chief Alexi McHammond came under fire as some of her tweets from a decade ago resurfaced. In these now-deleted tweets, she informs her followers that she is “googling how not to wake up with swollen, [A]sian eyes” among other tweets.
McHammond has faced immense backlash and criticism for her racist comments. Her critics include people like her predecessor, Elaine Welteroth, who stated on her show, The Talk, that “her tweets and the sentiments behind them were racist and abhorrent and indefensible…”
The topic of Asian hate crimes has been front and center throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In a study by California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reported by Voice of America, data shows that hate crimes against Asians have increased by 150% since 2020. These hate crimes are thought to be exacerbated by rhetoric that places blame on Asians for COVID-19.
This spike in hate crimes have prompted employers to take a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Asian rhetoric. This resulted in the firing of Alexi McHammond. She announced on March 18th, 2021 that she and Condè Nast have decided to part ways.This comes one day after the most recent attack on Asian Americans in Georgia which left 8 dead. Her firing also comes one week after she had announced that she would stay on at Teen Vogue and work to earn the trust of her colleagues.
This decision by the Conde Nast organization has demonstrated that amongst the corporate ranks, there is no room for racism, past or present. Their choice sends a clear message about the state of corporate America at this time.