New York Times producer forced to resign after smear campaign

"Today I'm resigning from The New York Times," Mills wrote. "Those are not words I ever wanted to write."

Angelo Isidorou Vancouver British Columbia

Reporter and Producer Andy Mills has resigned from The New York Times following a coordinated smear campaign. In a blog post on Friday, Mills made the announcement that he will be leaving the outlet due to number of sexual misconduct allegations against him. These allegations are old and long resolved, but have nonetheless been seemingly brought back under the spotlight.

"Today I'm resigning from The New York Times," Mills wrote.

"Those are not words I ever wanted to write," said Mills in his blog post. He explains that the spring board for his current cancellation is a reporting error in an episode of Caliphate, the hit podcast series. This error was problematic as it raised questions for the validity of a specific terrorist acts, but was not entirely Mill's fault. Nonetheless, this unfortunate incident led to a larger smear campaign.

"But in the meantime, another story emerged online: that my lack of punishment came down to entitlement and male privilege. That accusation gave some the opportunity to resurface my past personal conduct," said Mills. The producer then explains a past he is not proud of.

In his younger years as a producer for another outlet, he was known as a flirt. "Eight years ago during a team meeting, I gave a colleague a back rub. Seven years ago I poured a drink on a coworker’s head at a drunken bar party. I look back at those actions with extraordinary regret and embarrassment."

This resulted in warning from HR, an apology from Mills and an overall pivotal moment in his life. For the remaining years he worked at his previous job, at New York City's public radio station WNYC, there were never any other incidents ever again. When he applied to The New York Times, he was upfront about his unfortunate past and was nonetheless hired and even defended. In fact, Mills seemingly came such a long way that he was promoted to a greater position as a producer.

"But that was not to be. The allegations on Twitter quickly escalated to the point where my actual shortcomings and past mistakes were replaced with gross exaggerations and baseless claims," said Mills. "Several people have even alleged that I am a predator and a dangerous threat to my colleagues. I have been transformed into a symbol of larger societal evils. As a journalist, it has been especially discouraging and upsetting to see fellow journalists make such claims or retweet them," he continued.

"The entire experience has been extraordinarily painful. I know I'm not supposed to say that because people will claim that I’m trying to make myself the victim. I know that I still have a lot of room to grow as a person - I can be overly zealous and talk over people, making them feel unheard. I know that this whole letter opens me up to more public shaming and ridicule. But public shaming is very painful. That is the truth. So is leaving the job you love," he concluded.


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