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.
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Morning all. Some news: : John Brown statement, 31.10.18. ‘John Brown Media has today announced that William Sitwell is stepping down as Editor of the Waitrose & Partners Food magazine with immediate effect. Andrew Hirsch, CEO, said: ‘I respect William’s decision and have therefore accepted his resignation. I would like to thank him for his work with ourselves and Waitrose over many years and wish him well for the future. We will work with Waitrose & Partners to appoint a new editor.’ . Waitrose statement, 31.10.18. ‘We have today been informed by John Brown Media, who produce the Waitrose & Partners Food Magazine, that William Sitwell is stepping down as Editor of Waitrose & Partners Food magazine with immediate effect. In the light of William's recent email remarks, we have told John Brown Media that we believe this is the right and proper move – we will be working with them to appoint a new editor for the magazine. We have had a relationship with William for almost 20 years and are grateful for his contribution to our business over that time.’ . Today I just want to make two points. : Firstly, to reiterate my apology to any food- and life-loving vegan who was genuinely offended by remarks written by me as an ill-judged joke in a private email and now widely reported. : Second, a word about my team on Waitrose & Partners Food. For two amazing decades I’ve worked with simply the best crew in the business. There is no more talented art director than Kerry Wakefield, my lovely deputy Jess, PA Morgan, Dr Lucy heading food, Ashleigh on features, Kat and the fab art and subbing team. Thank you – we never stopped laughing (til now!). : This issue from Jan 2017 – with a striking image taken by the gifted Jonathan Gregson – is one I’m particularly proud of. We even refused advertising from those proffering meat-based products.
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”.