Vanity Fair’s video suggesting Hillary Clinton take up knitting sparks intense backlash

by Mark Anderson
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A lot of the anti-Hillary Clinton rhetoric disappeared from left-leaning publications when Donald Trump became president in January. Clinton wasn’t the first choice for some Democrats to lead their party, but after Trump won, most people decided to focus on how his presidency would affect Americans instead of quibble about a former candidate.

Vanity Fair apparently wasn’t ready to put the issue of Clinton, and what she should do with her life now, to bed. The magazine released a video that shows staff writers and editors holding glasses of champagne and reciting “resolutions” for the former Secretary of State. Most of the suggestions for Clinton in 2018 boil down to this: don’t run again, please. The video also suggested that Clinton take up a new hobby, such as “volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy.”

The video is clearly intended to be silly and humorous, but it wasn’t well received. And that’s putting it mildly. On Twitter, people called the video “garbage” and misogynistic.

#CancelVanityFair turned into a popular hashtag.

Director Ava DuVernay weighed in.

As well as outspoken actor Patricia Arquette.

The video was so widely criticized and hated that Vanity Fair staff members who appeared in it were bullied and harassed online this whole week. One writer locked her Twitter account.

Vanity Fair didn’t single out Hillary Clinton in its end-of-year political commentary. The publication also created New Year’s resolutions videos for President Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Those videos feature equally silly suggestions, such as a Sanders joining forces with Bernie Sanders to form a radio show called Sanders and Sanders. Yet producing a video unprompted by any sort of news coverage about the former presidential candidate is strange (Clinton has said she will not run again). What’s even stranger is the backlash. The video seemed like the kind of internet content that briefly attracts negative attention before people move on to the next thing to get mad about. That didn’t happen. Vanity Fair tweeted a link to the video over the weekend, and people are still talking about it.

It’s even devolved—as everything did in 2017—into a wild, Russian conspiracy theory.

A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair told the Washington Post that the Clinton video “was an attempt at humor and we regret that it missed the mark.”

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