William Sitwell, the editor of Waitrose Food magazine has resigned following a Twitter backlash over an email he sent to a vegan food writer, suggesting they write a post on “killing vegans”.
He replied to writer Selene Nelson: “How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?”
Boycott Waitrose until they replace William Sitwell.
— Lynne (@Lynne57048816) October 29, 2018
Sitwell has been the magazine’s editor for 20 years and apologised for what he called an “ill-judged joke” on Instagram, adding he was “proud” of his work on the title. Waitrose has said it felt the former editor’s resignation was the “right and proper move”. The magazine’s publisher John Brown Media has thanked Sitwell for his work.
Nelson sent the email to Buzzfeed News, however she claimed on Twitter she did not “sell” the story. She said: “I pitched BuzzFeed an article exploring the hostility vegans often face, using WS’s email as just one example of it. BuzzFeed wanted to run the story themselves as a news piece rather than a thought piece. I didn’t get paid for it or have any editorial control.”
I didn't sell it. I pitched BuzzFeed an article exploring the hostility vegans often face, using WS's email as just one example of it. BuzzFeed wanted to run the story themselves as a news piece rather than a thought piece. I didn't get paid for it or have any editorial control.
— Selene Nelson (@Selene_Nelson) October 30, 2018
Since the Buzzfeed article Nelson has written articles for The Independent about the email and the subject of vegans being spoken to with “hostility and anger”.
The article prompted a backlash on Twitter, prompting Waitrose to release a statement which said his comments were “extremely inappropriate, insensitive and absolutely do not represent our views”.