Jezebel’s incoming editor — Emma Carmichael — doesn’t start until September, but she’s already involved in some drama. According to Capital New York, several of Jezebel’s staffers are upset that Carmichael (who is white) was chosen over Jezebel’s deputy editor, Dodai Stewart (who is black).
Stewart has been with Jezebel since 2007, and apparently many thought she was the perfect choice to take over the site from Jessica Coen. “I know we were all really rooting for her,” said one staffer. Instead, Nick Denton opted to bring in Carmichael, and the rumblings began:
I wouldn’t say that we’re unhappy with Emma at all, but… we had like a really optimal choice that they passed over.
Translation: We’re unhappy they picked Emma.
I would not say that I think it is like a racist action, but it is kind of a missed opportunity. The race thing would have been a really wonderful—just like to have a really well-established Black woman who is so good at her job running the site would have been great.
Translation: Some of us think this was a racist action.
Denton, of course, didn’t elaborate on why he skipped over Stewart. He told Capital, “The direction of the site will be determined not by my premature words, but by Emma’s actions, and the response of the wider readership. So that’s all I can tell you.” Which is the same as not telling us anything.
Sounds like Carmichael’s first few weeks on the job will be good times.