Wednesday night, the day after President Donald Trump didn’t reject the Proud Boys during a presidential debate and instead told them to “stand by and stand by,” Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc emailed her staff to alert them Assure the media that the company currently has no affiliation with McInnes.
“I’m sure we’re all still trying to make sense of what was said in last night’s US presidential debate, but I wanted to write to you to make one thing clear: Gavin McInnes is not affiliated with VICE “Dubuc said in her email received from CNN Business. “While the legacy of his role in starting the company stirs up from time to time, I want to assure you all that every connection he had with the company ended more than a decade ago in 2008. What he did after that ̵
1; including the foundation of The Proud Boys in 2016 – had nothing to do with VICE, our values or our employees. “
McInnes may not currently be affiliated with Vice Media. But he co-founded the alternative magazine that became Vice Media today, and worked at Vice for 14 years.
McInnes bought Voice of Montreal, a government-funded magazine, in 1994 with Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi. According to a profile in The Guardian in 2008, the three took control of the magazine after a dispute with the publisher. They changed the name to Vice and later moved to New York City and expanded the magazine internationally.
McInnes aliases wrote much of the content for Vice in the early days before they had a freelance budget in 2013, according to a New Yorker profile. He was also the co-author of several Vice books.
In a profanity Q&A with New York Press in 2002, McInnes said he was glad that hipsters in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn neighborhood where Vice is headquartered, were white. After a letter campaign by a black reader, Vice apologized for McInnes’ comment, the New York Times later reported. He was also quoted by the Times as saying, “I love being white and I think it’s something I can be very proud of. I don’t want our culture to be watered down. We have to push the boundaries now close and adjust all to a western white. ” , English-speaking way of life. ” An unnamed former employee told The New Yorker: “[t]This marked the beginning of “the end of” McInnes’ time with Vice.
By the time McInnes left Vice in 2008, the company had invested in digital video creation and was known for its provocative documentaries. Vice was on its way to becoming a media investor darling, which at its projected high water mark in 2017 would be worth $ 5.7 billion. McInnes left “because of creative differences with his partners,” according to the New York Times.
McInnes founded the Proud Boys in 2016. He resigned in 2018, but sued the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2019 for calling the organization a hate group. Officially, the group describes itself as organized according to the belief that “West is the best” – what they call Western chauvinism – and rejects the label of white supremacists and old-rightists. They say they are against both racism and “racial guilt”. They advocate closed borders, gun rights and “worship of the housewife”. In a statement to CNN Business Thursday, McInnes rejected the idea that the Proud Boys were racists or white supremacists.
The current leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, told CNN’s Elle Reeve, who previously worked for Vice, that he was pleased to hear the President’s comment on the Proud Boys “to step down and stand by”.
In Wednesday’s employee statement, Dubuc wrote, “I hope our work, culture and leadership clearly speak for themselves, but let me say – so as to leave no doubt – we all condemn white supremacy, racism and hatred in everyone Shape. “”
According to Dubuc, Vice also reported extensively on the Proud Boys and other far-right groups.
“Our award-winning teams have held the Proud Boys and other similar groups accountable through persistent and unwavering investigative journalism. Our teams have produced top-notch reports on the old-right from Charlottesville to Louisville and most recently Portland.” Dubuc wrote. “Thank you for your tireless commitment to continue this work – and if someone makes it difficult for you, send it to me. I am pleased to correct the record.”
Vice Media declined to comment beyond Dubuc’s email.
When CNN Business contacted McInnes via text message about what Dubuc had written, he replied, “I created this brand and defined its content from its creation to my departure in 2008. My pithy disrespect still haunts it like Banquo’s ghost . “