A Business Insider Columnist Writes A Bad Column, And Resigns Over It

Such it is with Business Insider columnist Daniella Greenbaum, a writer whose work leans more toward the right and has been the center of a few controversies. Most recently, Greenbaum wrote a piece about Scarlett Johansson’s decision to play a transgender character. Her very simplistic argument was summed up in one sentence: “The job of an actor is to represent someone else.”

Which, okay fine, that is true. But when discussing communities that have historically been systematically erased and marginalized, there is much more to the story than that. So it would have behooved Greenbaum to perhaps discuss this issue with a trans person. Instead, she quoted one critical tweet and then railed on with her opinion about why it’s totally okay for mainstream cis people to play trans characters. Her op-ed schtick seems to be to state her opinion, pepper in a few straw-men arguments that she feels bolsters it, and then call it a day.

This didn’t sit well with Business Insider‘s staff, who reportedly complained about the post. And the website’s editor-in-chief, Nich Carlson, ultimately decided to take it down. Today, Greenbaum announced via a tweet that she was resigning from Business Insider as a result of that decision.

In her resignation letter to Carlson, which she included via screenshot, Greenbaum listed her many overly simplistic stances, which she felt were just too hot for the business website. “My judgment: Yes. A woman can play a man or a trans man,” she wrote. “I believe,” she continues, “‘safe spaces’ are an inane concept that belong nowhere near our institutions of higher learning. I believe that people should be admitted to universities on the basis of merit, not depending on the color of their skin.”

The list goes on, and it’s a doozy!

I believe female actors can play men and trans men. That is the apparently controversial view that inspired BI to take down my piece. I have resigned from @businessinsider and explain why in my letter to EIC @nichcarlson pic.twitter.com/5G2UZggXi9

— Daniella Greenbaum (@DGreenbaum) July 12, 2018

What is truly spectacular about this resignation letter is how she frames all these stances in such a way that shows zero interest in interrogating the other side–which is, well, her job. Greenbaum’s sweeping proclamations obfuscate nuanced debate in favor of tidy told-ya-so arguments. Most important, the statements come from a very hegemonic–dare I say privileged–mind-set, which explains why, when she’s presented with a differing opinion, she has either discounted it or claimed she was being silenced.

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A Business Insider Columnist Writes A Bad Column, And Resigns Over It

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A Business Insider Columnist Writes A Bad Column, And Resigns Over It

A Business Insider Columnist Writes A Bad Column, And Resigns Over It

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A Business Insider Columnist Writes A Bad Column, And Resigns Over It