Abercrombie & Fitch says it’s no longer working with gay plus-size model Michael McCauley after problematic social media posts he wrote resurfaced on Twitter just as he was being profiled in the company’s new ad campaign about inclusiveness.
Quick backstory: Queerty ran an interview with McCauley earlier this month during which he touted the importance of diverse representation. Shortly after the interview published, however, a number of racist social media posts written by McCauley started recirculating on Twitter.
In one of them, McCauley blasted members of Black Lives Matter, calling them “a group of extremists.” In another, he bemoaned the activist group for blocking the streets and making him late for a meeting. And in another, he took aim at Jada Pinkett Smith for her stance on #OscarsSoWhite then complained that the Grammys don’t nominate enough white artists.
Now, in a statement to Queerty, the company says it has terminated its relationship with McCauley:
A&F has worked hard over the last few years, particularly under new leadership, to improve and be more inclusive with everything we do, including our marketing, our size ranges, our charitable partners, our store experiences and our hiring practices. A&F’s Face Your Fierce campaign was created to help promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and the comments made by Mike McCauley clearly do not support that goal. They also contradict the values of our company, our associates and our customers. As such, we are no longer working with him.
Queerty reached out to McCauley for a comment when the controversy first erupted, but he never responded to our request. Last week, he took to Twitter and Instagram to issue an apology.
“I want to address the comments that were recently brought to light from several years ago,” he said. “They were not intended to be hurtful. I realize how insensitive they are and I’m sorry for the harm they’ve cause. Thank you.”