'Vanity Fair' Said Hillary Clinton Should Take Up Knitting In 2018 & People Are Riled Up
Following the release of a video in which staffers offer New Years resolutions for Hillary Clinton, Vanity Fair has found itself mired in controversy. While the video in question is part of a larger series (past episodes focus on the would-be New Years' resolutions of Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Gary Cohn), the Clinton video has riled the Twitter-verse in an altogether different way. The main point of contention — at least, among those vocal about it on Twitter — is that the video suggests Clinton should take up knitting, among other hobbies, in 2018. Shortly after the publication tweeted the video over the weekend, it found itself on the receiving end of Twitter users' fury.
Bustle has reached out to Vanity Fair for comment.
Among the six resolutions staffers offer to Clinton are:
Take up a new hobby in the new year: volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy — literally anything that'll keep you from running again.
The "knitting" reference seems to be particularly problematic, with many arguing it was sexist and insulting. The timing is also questionable; it was recently reported that Clinton has been mulling her role in the 2018 mid-term elections.
The overarching theme of the Vanity Fair video seems to be that Clinton's resolutions should focus on a singular theme: Not to wade into politics again anytime soon. "Get someone on your tech staff to disable autofill on your iPhone so that typing in 'F' doesn't become 'form exploratory committee for 2020,'" recommends one staffer, while another advises Clinton to "put away your James Comey voodoo doll" in the new year.
Some irate observers expressed their anger at the video in replies to Vanity Fair on Twitter, arguing that the magazine had "destroyed all credibility" in one tweet and suggesting that people should cancel their subscriptions or write letters to the editor.
Others simply sent the magazine eye-roll gifs in response.
The Clinton video is just one of a series in which staffers offer snarky tips and resolutions to well-known politicos. In other videos, Vanity Fair employees have jokingly advised press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to start a radio show with Bernie Sanders, in which he yells at her "in his Brooklyn accent" and she yells back "in her W.C.W. wrestling voice."
The Clinton resolutions, however sarcastic they may have been, struck a chord in viewers. Many were reminded of the way she had been treated in the press during the campaign, with an overwhelming amount of attention focused on her emails — "Seriously?" wrote on Twitter user. "Trump is destroying the country, and THIS is the crap you're focused on? What next, 'her emails?' Grrrrrrrrrrrr."
Another user suggested Vanity Fair might next stoop to coverage of right-wing conspiracy theories, adding the hashtag #unfollowVanityFair.
Others were expressing their anger at the magazine with hashtags like #cancelVanityFair, #byeVanityFair, and #NeverVanityFair. One user even uploaded a photo of what they called "the last issue I will ever buy," which appeared to be burning in a fireplace. Actress Patricia Arquette also criticized the magazine, writing, "Hey STOP TELLING WOMEN WHAT THE F-CK THEY SHOULD DO OR CAN DO. Get over your mommy issues."
While the majority of the replies to the video decried it as sexist and mean-spirited, some attributed it to Vanity Fair's attempt to be "edgy," or funny — albeit, even those Twitter users said the jokes mostly fell flat.
Adam Parkhomenko, the co-founder and executive director of super PAC Ready for Hillary, added his two cents, as well. "I went to bed on Christmas not disliking @VanityFair," Parkhomenko wrote. "But, ya know. 2017."
He added that the video was, on top of everything else, not all that funny:
It was embarrassingly not funny. And awkward to watch. I want to believe they gave each of those individuals an opt-out opportunity but they genuinely looked happy to do it.
On Wednesday, Parkohomenko re-tweeted the news that Clinton and former President Barack Obama had been named the most admired woman and man in the country, according to a Gallup poll.
Disclosure: Hillary Clinton's son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky joined Social Capital, an investor in Bustle Digital Group, in mid 2017 and joined the Board of Bustle Digital Group in early 2018.