After issuing an apology on Facebook and taking further heat from Rihanna herself for printing a horribly offensive article about the singer’s style, Jackie magazine editor Eva Hoeke has resigned, effective immediately. In a press release summarizing the events of the past couple days, the publisher acknowledges that Hoeke’s apology, in which she tried to pass off the language in the story as a “joke” and pointed to the use of similar offensive language in other parts of the magazine, only made things worse.
Parlour magazine has a translation of Hoeke’s latest statement from the press release announcing her departure from the magazine.
I realize that my first reaction through Twitter, in which I indicated that it was a joke, has been an incomplete description of what me, and also the author of the article, meant. The term ‘niggabitch’ came from America and we solely used it to describe a style of dress. Because of the enormous pressure through social media I was tempted to promise amendment regarding the language in future issues of Jackie. Apart from that I also offered an rectification. I have now come to the conclusion that rectification is not the right solution. I regret that I have taken a stand too quickly regarding an article in Jackie — which moreover had no racial motive at its basis. Through the course of events, me and the publisher have concluded that because my credibility is now affected, it is better for all parties if I quit my function as editor-in-chief effective immediately. After putting my heart and soul into for Jackie for eight years, I realize that these errors — although not intented [sic] maliciously — are enough reason for leaving.
Further down the release, Hoeke continues to emphasize her error in taking to social media to address the outrage over the story.
“I should have counted to ten before taking unnuanced stands through social media channels. Through this my credibility has been hurt and that neither fits the role of an editor-in-chief, nor Jackie Magazine. Jackie Magazine will invite Rihanna to share her feelings and thoughts on the article in the next issue.”
This statement places disproportionate emphasis on Hoeke’s careless use of Facebook and Twitter and the origin of “niggabitch” (who cares if she thinks she didn’t invent the word if she printed it?), which was never the real problem in the first place. Audiences expect issues of mass concern like this to be addressed quickly and through those kinds of channels. But Hoeke’s latest statement only demonstrates that she fails to grasp the really bad part of all this — which is the fact that the story got printed in the first place — and then issued more statements that only made her seem more clueless than she did two days ago. That is why her stepping down is the right decision.