Business Insider is in hot water after abruptly deleting a controversial column on transgender issues.
In her column (found here, cached by Google), conservative writer Daniella Greenbaum argued that actress Scarlett Johansson was “the latest target of the social-justice warrior mob” for accepting a role as a trans man in the upcoming film Rub & Tug. “Johansson’s identity off the screen is irrelevant to the identities she plays on the screen,” Greenbaum wrote. “That’s what she’s paid for. And if she does her job, she’ll make everyone forget about the controversy in the first place.”
But her hot take proved too insensitive for BI editors, who backpedaled and pulled the column hours after it went live, claiming it “did not meet our editorial standards.”
— Daniella Greenbaum (@DGreenbaum) July 6, 2018
In the wake of their poor judgment call, BI editors are implementing a new editorial review strategy. Editor-in-Chief Nich Carlson wrote in an email obtained by The Daily Beast that “all culturally sensitive columns, analysis, and opinion pieces” would now be reviewed by executive editors before publication.
“Editors should make sure we are not publishing shallow, ’hot takes,’ but instead, fully thought-out arguments that reflect and respect the opposing view,” Carlson added. “There should be no partisan name-calling, e.g. ‘social justice warriors,’ ‘libtards,’ or ‘rednecks.’ Opinion and arguments should feel reported and researched, and not like quick reactions.”
But the change in policy has resulted in some infighting at BI, reports The Weekly Standard: One BI staffer asked how the company’s executive editors planned to vet future “culturally sensitive” work, pointing out that if the editors themselves weren’t from diverse backgrounds or marginalized groups, they might not be in the position to do so.
Meanwhile, Greenbaum told The Weekly Standard through a BI spokesperson that she stands by her column.