Andrew Sullivan, the writer at New York magazine, announced Friday that he had written his last column for the magazine that he said has “every right to hire and fire anyone it wants when it comes to the content it wants to publish.”
Sullivan’s future at the magazine has been debated on social media for weeks due to his stance on the recent protests and cancel culture in general. Although he despises President Trump, last month he wrote a widely read article on whether there is any room for debate in the U.S.
Sullivan actually praised his editors and fact-checkers and theorized that his departure was simply the result of “a critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associated with me, and, in a time of ever tightening budgets, I’m a luxury item they don’t want to afford. And that’s entirely their prerogative. They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space.”
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The cancel culture trend in media has been in place for years, but the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death seem to have sped up the process exponentially. Mainstream news organizations have long been known to have a left bent, but that bent has turned into an orthodoxy that needs to be defended in newsrooms across the country. James Bennet, the former op-ed page editor at the Times, was forced to resign after publishing an opinion piece about deploying troops amid protests by Sen. Tom Cotton that some at the paper said, “puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”
Despite the threat to his position at the magazine, Sullivan continued to be active on social media and has taken apart the cancel culture surge.
Sullivan wrote in one of his final columns about the movement’s effect on society.
“It’s why corporate America has rushed to adopt every plank of this ideology and display its allegiance publicly. If you do this, and do it emphatically, you can display your virtue to your customers and clients, and you might even be left alone. Or not.”