Over the past few years, the internet has become a place of perpetual offense and frequent outrage, and now a former Mashable film reporter is paying the price.
Writer Jeff Sneider, a white male, has been fired by Mashable following backlash he received for an article he penned earlier this month in which he declared #OscarsSoWhite, the Twitter hashtag that arose last year due to the fact that few minorities were nominated for Oscars, "canceled."
Sneider wrote the piece because the upcoming Oscar class is looking like it will be much more diverse than the last one. Regardless, Sneider's article sparked quite a bit of frustration.
In addition to giving Sneider the boot, the technology and culture site also added an editor's note to the post, calling the ex-Mashable reporter "insensitive":
An initial version of this story suggested that #OscarsSoWhite was “canceled.” This was incorrect and insensitive, and we’ve since clarified: The acting nominees, the central point of contention over the past two years, could be more diverse than ever before. Even so, it does not solve the ongoing problem of diversity in Hollywood, and we regret suggesting otherwise.
Twitter users responded to the apparently insensitive story with the hashtag #MashableCancels, mocking Sneider for suggesting he had the right to cancel the #OscarsSoWhite campaign — a comment he almost assuredly meant to be figurative.
Somebody call me when #MashableCancels student loans.— Pepperidge Farm remembers (@Pepperidge Farm remembers) 1480598228.0
#MashableCancels Black Lives Matter because a white cop gave those black kids ice cream cones that one time.— Kathryn Haydon (@Kathryn Haydon) 1480598293.0
#MashableCancels racism because the President is Black. 😒— April (@April) 1480596476.0
#MashableCancels MLK Day because there are mostly Black people living on his boulevard.— #BlackLivesMatter (@#BlackLivesMatter) 1480599405.0
After the backlash began, Mashable deleted a tweet and replaced it with a post apologizing for the previous "thoughtless" message that linked back to Sneider's piece. But the internet is forever and someone took a screen capture of the expunged tweet.
Nice try @mashable @TheInSneider, but you can't cancel the Internet like #MashableCancels #OscarsSoWhite. https://t.co/IA2cMPNtFI— 𝙖𝙡𝙚𝙭𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙞𝙪 🧢 (@𝙖𝙡𝙚𝙭𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙞𝙪 🧢) 1480602464.0
Mashable did confirm to Heat Street that is had let Sneider go "due to the events surrounding the article." However, it is all but guaranteed an editor above the film reporter looked at his article before it went to publication, so Sneider seems to be serving as the news site's fall guy for the outrage.
And some of Sneider's fellow entertainment writers are calling Mashable out for the overblown response to his article, which was at best an overgeneralization of a complex issue.
Sneider has yet to publicly comment on the matter.