Grazia has sacked one of its senior writers after she apologised for making “ignorant and antisemitic” comments about the Holocaust.
The fashion and women’s magazine announced that Stephanie Yeboah would “no longer be writing as a Contributing Editor”, following an internal review and discussions with Jewish groups.
This comes after the writer, charged with championing diversity, said sorry to the community over comments made online about the Holocaust, arguing “there have been bigger and more horrific genocides”.
Yeboah, a “plus-sized style blogger” who joined the magazine last month to “fight for diversity, inclusion and women’s rights” was found to have written a series of questionable Tweets in recent years, Private Eye reported last week.
Grazia UK issued a statement saying the magazine has “spoken at length with Stephanie Yeboah and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Following an internal review, we have agreed that Stephanie will no longer be writing as a Contributing Editor of Grazia, we will continue to support her as she further educates herself in collaboration with the Jewish community. Grazia continues to champion diversity and inclusion of all kinds and stands firmly against antisemitism.”
Among them was a joke from Yeboah that, “Every Jew has an attic, but not every attic has Jews,” while in another she wrote: “AUSCHWITZ Gas Chamber Music LMAO SMH [laughing my arse off, shaking my head]”.
As recently as January this year, which marked the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation, Yeboah wrote: “There have been bigger and more horrific genocides. They happened to brown people though, so I guess it doesn’t matter, huh?”
Yeboah later added: “I know what the occasion is and I’m doubling down on what I said. Of course it’s tragic, but the erasure of brown trauma is a real issue.”
She continued: “Lol of course it matters when Jews are killed. Nothing else matters more. We learn about it in school. It’s *THEE* most important thing. But it also discounts the other absolutely despicable things that have happened. So pls don’t play the oppression card here.”
Following the publication of Private Eye’s article, the Board of Deputies (BOD) spoke directly with Yeboah and called the discussion “positive”.
The organisation tweeted: “We’ve spoken to @StephanieYeboah following the @PrivateEyeNews article, as to why her tweets abt the Holocaust + other issues were so hurtful to the Jewish community.
“The call was very positive. Stephanie has now deleted all the tweets, has assured us she is currently working to address all the concerns in full, and we will meet her soon to discuss all these issues further.”
Yeboah then issued her own apology for her “ignorant and antisemitic comments about the Jewish community”.
She wrote:”I want to first and foremost sincerely apologise, but also address some of my tweets that have been brought to the attention and made public.
“In these tweets, I made very ignorant and antisemitic comments about the Jewish community, as well as quoting lines from a variety of TV shows, including quotes that upon reflection, were extremely offensive and hurtful.
“To plead ignorance is no excuse, I should have known better than to make these kind of comments about events which remain a source of unimaginable trauma for the Jewish community.”
Addressing the comments she made in regard to Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, she explained that she wanted to highlight how “the massacre/tragedies of black and brown bodies weren’t given as much visibility due to the colour of our skin,” but that as the result of her words she “ended up diminishing the seriousness of the tragedies that the Jewish communites have faced.”
She added: “I was pitting these two marginalised communities against each other, and for that, I am extremely sorry. I can’t express nor apologise enough for the hurt and harm my tweets have caused.”
Yeboah pledged to meet in-person with the Board of deputies to “begin this journey of educating myself further.”
Actress and antisemtisim campaigner Tracy-Ann Oberman, who initially called the Tweets “unacceptable” and a “blatant horror”, thanked Yeboah for apologising and offered a face-to-face meeting with the Holocaust Education Trust, “to show where unchecked Jew hate ends up.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.