Huffpost Media

Oxford American Editor Was Fired Over Sexual Harassment

Posted: Updated:

Marc Smirnoff was fired as editor of The Oxford American after allegations of sexual harassment, it was revealed on Thursday.

The allegations emerged after a staff retreat over July 4th. The New York Times' Julie Bosman reported:

...things quickly went awry, beginning at night when Mr. Smirnoff berated young staff members playing drinking games, and continuing the next morning when he exploded in anger at a 19-year-old intern, then insisted that she ride home alone with him, asking her to hold his hand and accompany him to his favorite “make-out spot."

Smirnoff's own version of events backs that account up, and the magazine's board fired him days later. He has since hit out at the staff and the board, denying that his behavior constituted sexual harassment.

Prior to his firing, the board conducted an investigation which turned up other charges of harassment at the office. The Times reported that he "called female interns 'baby' and made lewd comments and unwanted sexual overtures," according to staff.

In an interview with Bosman, Smirnoff admitted to "hugging, patting and kissing interns on top of their heads." He defended his actions, however, as “paternalistic and nonsexual.”

He passed his conduct off as "joking" and "banter," comparing himself to Ricky Gervais' character on "The Office." “I have made bad jokes," Smirnoff said. "My intent with regards to that humor is just as important.”

Related on HuffPost:

Close
Top 25 Magazines Of 2013
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Oxford American - The Southern Magazine of Good Writing

Oxford American Founder Out Amid Sex Harass Claims

The Breakfast Meeting: At Last, Political Ads 24/7; and a Firing at Oxford ...

Southern Discomfort: What's Next for the Oxford American?

Oxford American locks out employees at UCA office