Sometimes a joke … is not a joke. Sadly, Eva Hoeke (at left), Editor-In-Chief of Dutch magazine Jackie learned this the hard way in the past 36 hours when she issued the most non-apology-apology for her publication’s decision to refer to Rihanna as a “niggabitch” in their latest issue. After we reported the rundown, Rihanna issued her own response directly to Eva via Twitter that ended with “Fuck You.” Well, it seems that Eva has had it up to here with the mess that her own niggabitchness has created, so she’s decided to quit her job as editor. We got our hands on the press release, here is a translation: Read the rest
Eva Hoeke Quits as Editor-in-Chief of Jackie
Following a recent publication in Jackie magazine, issue 49, a worldwide outcry arose over an article on page 45 entitled “De Niggabitch”, which refers to Rihanna and her style of dress. This word is used in America as slang.
Throughout the various social media there has been an emotional response to this choice of words, as published in Jackie. As a first reaction to this editor-in-chief Eva Hoeke said via Twitter that the choice of words was meant as a joke and offered an apology to anyone who felt offended. This reaction cause further consternation, as Hoeke herself also referred to the term elsewhere in the magazine. In a second reaction through Twitter, Hoeke came to the following conclusion: ‘1. Don’t publish bad jokes in the magazine 2. Don’t pretend as if a bad joke is good. Sorry guys. My bad.’ The response on social media now took on an international character. In a third reaction Hoeke even offered to rectify in the next issue of Jackie. This morning Rihanna response on the article through Twitter. She was furious over the use of the word ‘niggabitch’ and ended her message with ‘Fuck you Eva’. Through social media Hoeke was taunted and threatened in various ways.
Following these events she consulted with publisher Yves Gijrath of GMG. Together they came to the following joint conclusion: In the interest of Jackie Magazine and all involved she will leave her function as editor-in-chief effective immediately. Hoeke gives the following comment:
“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 maliciously — are enough reason for leaving.”
Publisher Yves Gijrath regrets the state of affairs and praises Hoeke’s attitude, who primarily chooses for the credibility of the title, which – as she realizes herself – would have been damaged had she stayed. According to Gijrath there’s no doubt about the intentions and qualities of Eva Hoeke, however he does think this joint decision is the correct one. Hoeke concludes:
“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.”
Well there it is folks. Offensive article runs. Editor in Chief offers a half-apology. Artist responds. Editor in Chief quits. I wonder if the response that this ignited globally will make a difference in how issues like this are handled in the future or if Hoeke’s resignation is simply a temporary solution to a deep-rooted problem.