Vanity Fair Hillary Clinton "Knitting" Controversy
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Vanity Fair Hillary Clinton "Knitting" Controversy refers to the negative response to video by the magazine Vanity Fair in which they suggest new hobbies for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take up in 2018. Vanity Fair asserts that the video was intended to be comedic, however, online, some took issue with the perceived sexism of the video, particularly when one of the suggestions included Clinton taking up "knitting," a stereotypical activity for women.
On December 23rd, 2017, Vanity Fair magazine tweeted a video entitled "6 New Year's Resolutions for Hillary Clinton." The video (shown below) included an intended humorous list of suggested resolutions for Clinton to make in 2018. Such resolutions included a sequel to her book, What Happened and not running for president in 2020. About 30 seconds into the video, one Vanity Fair staffer suggests that Clinton take up a new hobby, like "volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy."
Within five days, the video has receieved more than 3,500 retweets, 7,000 likes, 13,000 comments and one million views.
Maybe it's time for Hillary Clinton to take up a new hobby in 2018 pic.twitter.com/sbE78rA5At— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) December 23, 2017
Within three days of the release of the video, some people online responded negatively to the video. The response video was primarily from Hillary Clinton supporters who found the inclusion of "knitting" offensive. Twitter user @DBB_JAIID responded, "I fuckin knit. & crochet too while being a Physicist, a cancer patient, an activist, a dying mother, grandmother, friend.
I’ll be working on a big knitted middle finger for Hillary to send you, berating successful women. Fuck you!" The post (shown below, left) received more than 1,400 retweets and 4,500 likes in 24 hours.
Academy Award-winner Patricia Arquette also reacted negatively to the video. She tweeted, "Hey STOP TELLING WOMEN WHAT THE F-CK THEY SHOULD DO OR CAN DO. Get over your mommy issues." The post (shown below, center) received more than 1,500 retweets and 9,000 likes in 48 hours.
Some online began expressing their frustation using the hashtag "#CancelVanityFair." Former Clinton advisor and Verrit founder Peter Daou tweeted, "So @VanityFair decided that the best way to end 2017 was to take a repulsive cheap shot at @HillaryClinton, one of the most accomplished women in the history of the United States. Now #CancelVanityFair is moving." Within 48 hours,. the tweet received more than 6,000 retweets and 14,000 likes.
The Vanity Fair staffer who made the suggestion locked her Twitter account later that night after reporting harrassment by Clinton supporters online. Before locking the account, she tweeted, "i don’t appreciate being taken out of context to make me seem super sexist. this wasn’t a hillary hit piece either, fwiw! we made silly new years resolutions for a bunch of politicians."
The backlash to the video had a backlash as well, with some of Clinton's detractors asserting that the reaction to the video was unwarranted (examples below). Some of these detractors supported Vanity Fair's suggestions and expanded upon them, joking that Hillary should take up a violent or deadly New Year's resolution. Twitter user @BronzeHammer tweeted, "i think hillary clinton should knit herself a car and crash into the fuckin river with it. who cares what happens to that old shithead."
On December 28th, United States President Donald Trump responded to the controversy, tweeting, Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb to Court of St James’s & a big fundraiser for CH, is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!" The post (shown below) received more than 4,400 retweets and 17,000 in 24 hours.
Vanity Fair Apology
Vanity Fair responded to the backlash against the video. In a statement from Conde Nast, Vanity Fair's publisher, the company wrote:
"It was an attempt at humor and we regret that it missed the mark.
Several media outlets covered the backlash, including EW, The Hill, The Daily Dot, HuffPost and more.
 Twitter – @VanityFair's Tweet
 Twitter – @DGB_JAIID
 Twitter – @PattyArquette's Tweet
 Twitter – @peterdaou's Tweet
 HuffPost – Vanity Fair Gets Called Out For Suggesting Hillary Clinton Take Up Knitting
 Twitter – @BronzeHammer's Tweet
 EW – Vanity Fair apologizes for controversial Hillary Clinton knitting video
 The Hill – Vanity Fair faces backlash for suggesting Hillary Clinton learn to knit
 The Daily Dot – Vanity Fair’s video suggesting Hillary Clinton take up knitting sparks intense backlash
 Twitter – @realDonaldTrump's Tweet
Dec 28, 2017 at 10:30AM EST
Dec 29, 2017 at 06:29AM EST
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