Atlantic Drops Wieseltier, Citing ‘Zero Tolerance For Workplace Harassment’

Dan Balilty/AP

Leon Wieseltier, the former longtime literary editor of The New Republic facing a slew of sexual harassment accusations, will not continue as a contributing editor to The Atlantic, the publication confirmed to TPM on Friday.

“Leon Wieseltier will no longer continue at The Atlantic as a contributing editor,” Editor In Chief Jeffrey Goldberg told The Atlantic’s editorial staff Friday, in a memo shared with TPM.

“Wieseltier’s relationship with The Atlantic has been largely honorary in nature — he last published a piece with us in March of 2016 — but we are, in any case, removing his name from the masthead,” Goldberg continued. “The Atlantic has zero tolerance for workplace harassment of any kind.”

Wieseltier, The New Republic’s literary editor from 1983 until 2014, was accused by several women this week of inappropriate conduct, including kissing New Republic staffers on the mouth, discussing their appearances and asking about their sex lives, the New York Times reported.

“It was never an ‘open secret’ among me and my then-colleagues that Leon Wieseltier, the longtime literary czar of The New Republic, behaved inappropriately with women in the workplace,” The Atlantic’s Michelle Cottle, who worked at The New Republic for 12 years, wrote Friday. “It was simply out in the open.”

“For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness,” Wieseltier said in a statement to the Times.

The leaders of the Emerson Collective announced it was cancelling a new magazine Wieseltier had planned to edit after “receiving information related to past inappropriate workplace conduct.”

Over the past week, former New Republic staffers circulated stories of Wieseltier’s alleged misconduct in an email chain, the Times reported.

This post has been updated.

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