Donald McNeil and Andy Mills, two prominent New York Times journos, resigned on Friday over past allegations of bad behavior.
First up is Mills, a science reporter on the Covid beat, who resigned and apologized for using a racial slur — the n-word — on a trip to Peru with high school students in 2019 during a discussion on the suspension of one of the students’ classmates for using the n-word in a video she made when she was 12-years-old:
Donald McNeil, the NYT science reporter who has been front-and-center on covid, has resigned from the paper over remarks he made on an educational trip to Peru with students in 2019. Here's his apology: pic.twitter.com/zCdvZLQKuM
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) February 5, 2021
Wait, that’s it?
Is this the full story of what he said?
If he was just attributing it, as described, he shouldn’t have been forced out. Somebody should just say you can’t use that word, even in attribution, and you apologize.
The resignation makes me wonder whether there’s more to the story.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) February 6, 2021
It sounds like “complete and total BS”:
This is complete and total BS. Sorry, context DOES matter. If a word is so awful that it can't be used in ANY context, well then, sorry, but that means black folks have to surrender it as well, lest we give it air to thrive. https://t.co/YlaOmp1tWo
— Robert A George (@RobGeorge) February 6, 2021
And “this is a bad firing”:
This is a bad firing (if McNeil is being entirely honest about what happened) but what makes it even worse is the bizarre struggle session https://t.co/ExoV8kcMqZ
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) February 5, 2021
Others think it was long overdue:
Didn't get fired. Didn't get canceled. But finally resigned. About time. https://t.co/0PLCZQqPIT
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) February 6, 2021
According to The Daily Beast, the 1619 Project’s Nikole Hanah-Jones got involved, too:
"At that meeting, Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones said she planned on calling the parents and students on the trip to determine what McNeil had said and in what context, according to people familiar with the situation."https://t.co/o9Ot2XxTT4
— Matt Welch (@MattWelch) February 6, 2021
But The Daily Beast also reported that there was allegedly more than this one incident on the trip. “He made racist and sexist remarks throughout the trip”:
McNeil, formerly the paper of record’s top reporter on COVID-19, leaves amid fallout from an incident that occurred during a Times-sponsored educational trip to Peru when he used the “n-word” and made other racist comments, according to complaints first reported by The Daily Beast. At least six students or their parents claimed McNeil had made racist and sexist remarks throughout the trip.
Mills, the second journo who resigned, was the producer on the now-discredited Caliphate podcast.
Per note from Dean Baquet and Joe Kahn, Andy Mills has resigned from The Times. Have not immediately been able to reach Mills. Story tk. pic.twitter.com/MtxP4oPczL
— marc tracy (@marcatracy) February 5, 2021
He apologized for his past behavior as well, which included flirting, a back rub, and an incident where he poured a drink over a co-worker’s head:
NYP podcast dude resigns. Really awful stuff. What a terrible monster this guy sounds like, huh? pic.twitter.com/6TzqRFDJqO
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) February 5, 2021
What’s happening to Andy Mills MAY bring us to the closest thing we have to an a-ha moment about the overreach of cancel culture.https://t.co/AEh5yIX8rN
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) February 5, 2021
But, there have been complaints against him in the past:
“Caliphate” producer and reporter Andy Mills has resigned from the New York Times. Revisit our 2018 report on sexual harassment at WNYC, including complaints against Mills from his time at the station's “Radiolab” podcast https://t.co/DUzwPkBa9G
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) February 5, 2021
And other allegations have been flying around Twitter as well:
I'd be interested to know which, if any, of the many stories about Andy Mills to come out over the last couple of months he disputes pic.twitter.com/yHVLW9FXRF
— dylan matthews (@dylanmatt) February 5, 2021