Former Teen Vogue EIC Peoples Wagner warned staff about successor Alexi McCammond
Prior to the public outrage the fashion exec warned staff about her successor's anti-Asian tweets
A new report claims Teen Vogue’s outgoing editor warned Condé Nast and former staff about her replacement Alexi McCammond‘s racially charged tweets.
On Sunday, The Washington Post published an analysis of the scandal, which claims that Lindsay Peoples Wagner had proactively contacted her former staffers to warn them about McCammond before they announced her as a member of the team.
McCammond, 27, was confirmed as Peoples Wagner’s replacement in March. However, shortly thereafter, anti-Asian tweets she shared in 2011 resurfaced on social media and sparked public outrage. As a result, she ended up announcing her resignation on March 18 before having an opportunity to formally step into her new role.
Peoples Wagner, who made history in 2018 when she became the youngest editor-in-chief of any Condé Nast magazine, reportedly warned higher ups not to put McCammond on the list of her potential successors.
The Black fashion exec allegedly foreshadowed how McCammond’s controversial tweets could come back to haunt them and create an uproar — a prediction that came true within days of Condé Nast chief Anna Wintour‘s announcement.
“Alexi has the powerful curiosity and confidence that embodies the best of our next generation of leaders,” Wintour announced March 5, allegedly blindsiding Teen Vogue staffers who voiced their concerns at a subsequent meeting with her.
“We’ve built our outlet’s reputation as a voice for justice and change — we take immense pride in our work and in creating an inclusive environment,” the staffers wrote in a joint statement.
In an effort to clear the air, McCammond apologized to staff about her tweets in an email and attempted to set up one-on-one meetings to discuss the issue further. But that reportedly did little to boost morale.
“What they failed to realize is that there is an apology and then there is making amends,” Bonnie Morrison, a diversity consultant and former Men’s Vogue staffer, explained to the Post. “The entire fashion industry has revolved around Anna Wintour for years, and she is not someone who is well-positioned to determine which apologies are sufficient. Nor is she used to losing control of a situation.”
The Post report suggests that Wintour — whose editors “have nearly always possessed a certain glossy attractiveness” — based her decision more on optics than experience, given her public promise to put more Black people in more positions of power.
“Only 27, she had little editing experience and had never managed a staff before she was tapped as editor in chief for Teen Vogue early last month,” outlines the report. “Yet in her short career, McCammond had acquired the rare sort of Washington currency that translates to Manhattan’s power centers: buzz.”
“Condé dropped the ball,” opined one source familiar with internal deliberations at the company, “and left the staff and Alexi to deal with the fallout.”
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