Graeme Wood at The Atlantic writes:
Condé Nast, the publisher of Teen Vogue, announced that Alexi McCammond, a 27-year-old former reporter for Axios, would not be taking over as editor of the magazine after all. She had been done in by her own social-media posts, little time bombs she’d unwittingly armed when she tweeted them at age 17. Those posts groaned about her “stupid asian T.A.” and mocked Asians’ “swollen eyes.” She apologized for the tweets in 2019. The Teen Vogue staff discovered these comments, spurned the apology, and revolted.
So these tweets were done by here a decade ago when she was a teenager at school. She had publickly apologised for them two years ago.
I suppose a magazine aimed at teens and preteens would strain to acknowledge what every adult knows, which is that the entire point of being a teenager is to make and correct the most mortifying errors of your life. “The sooner you make your first five thousand mistakes,” the artist Kimon Nicolaїdes once wrote, “the sooner you will be able to correct them.” Then, at some vague point when the first digit of your age is no longer a 1, you experience a cleansing bonfire of your sins, and your adult permanent record begins.
If Teen Vogue, even in its current woke incarnation, does not exist to celebrate this period of still-expungeable error, then it may as well be calling for the abolition of the teenage years altogether. Its staff, as well as many of its advertisers, evidently think its readers deserve no bonfire, no sin jubilee, and should be hounded eternally for their dumbest and most bigoted utterances.
The irony of a magazine aimed at teens won’t allow someone to have made a mistake as a teenager.
What is significant with this episode is the publisher of Teen Vogue knew about her teenage tweets when they hired her. They correctly deemed that all her achievements since then counted as something. This is not a situation where they hired her and then found out later. It makes the decision to sack her even more cowardly.
Also of significance is that McCammond is African-American and of the left herself. Her boyfriend was Joe Biden’s Deputy Press Secretary, So this isn’t cancel culture targeting old conservative white guys, but a young black liberal woman.
This is why everyone should fight against cancel culture. Everyone has led lives of imperfection. I want a society that doesn’t judge people by the worst thing they have ever done, but by their overall contribution.