BuzzFeed, the curator of all things viral on the www, fired Mark "Copyranter" Duffy last month after employing him for a year and a half. And he did not go quietly. In a new article on Gawker titled "Top 10 Best Ever WTF OMG Reasons BuzzFeed Fired Me, LOL!", Duffy pulls no punches.
He reveals that he took a $43,000 annual pay cut to leave the agency world, worked as many as 70 hours a week for BuzzFeed, ranked seventh out of about 100 writers for traffic—and yet was canned anyway over "creative differences." A photo shows his termination paperwork with a sticky note that says "CUTE" on it—perhaps BuzzFeed's most egregious error in all of this. "A 53-year-old man, BuzzFeed's oldest ever employee, jobless and without health insurance? CUTE as a fucking bug's ear," Duffy writes.
He then shares, BuzzFeed style, 10 reasons why he might have been fired. They range from "Age" (reason No. 10—Duffy is 53, while most of his colleagues are in their 20s) to "I regularly challenged editors" (reason No. 6) to "I am just an asshole" (reason No. 3). He also admits to sending out inappropriate company-wide emails and drumming at his desk incessantly, which are their own entries, though they could probably also fall under No. 3.
The article includes a lengthy response from BuzzFeed's Ben Smith, the target of most of Duffy's criticisms, who closes with: "I'm sorry the Cute sticker upset him." The comments are worth a read, as well, either ripping BuzzFeed for choosing fluffy clickbait over Duffy's tougher material or ripping Duffy for being, e.g., "an entitled fucking whiner, dude."
From an outsider's point of view, the Duffy/BuzzFeed marriage just didn't seem like the best fit for either party. We hope he gets a column at a publication that suits him, as well as a soundproof office and maybe some well-padded mittens.