Elle.com announced yesterday (April 18) that journalist and scholar Melissa Harris-Perry will join the site as editor-at-large. The news comes nearly two months after her controversial departure from MSNBC.
“I could not be more thrilled to announce that Melissa Harris-Perry has joined Elle.com as editor-at-large,” read a statement from editorial director Leah Chernikoff. “In this role, Harris-Perry will focus on the intersection of race, gender, politics and yes, even fashion, telling the often-overlooked stories of women and girls of color right here on Elle.com and across Elle’s social platforms.”
“Joining Elle.com is an opportunity to combine my expertise as a scholar, my commitments as a public intellectual and my interests as a woman,” Harris-Perry added. ”Politics, economics and inequality will be important to the stories we tell, but so too will culture, community, family and even fashion.”
Harris-Perry split with MSNBC in February. She wrote a letter to staffers on her eponymous MSNBC show that was then published to Medium by former colleague Jamil Smith. In it, she explained that she felt sidelined by network leadership and discussed how she was slated to cover the South Carolina primary, despite her show’s removal from the MSNBC lineup:
Here is the reality: our show was taken—without comment or discussion or notice—in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced. Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive.
The purpose of this decision seems to be to provide cover for MSNBC, not to provide voice for MHP Show. I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head.