Talk about burning bridges!
There comes a point in everyone’s life where you’re mad as hell and just can’t take it anymore — and apparently for writer Sara Hammel, that moment was after writing for People magazine for 14 years!
The longtime writer quit her job this week, but didn’t just hand in a letter of resignation. Oh no, she decided to throw as many people under the bus as possible on her way out the door!
Hammel sent a scathing resignation letter to editorial director Jess Cagle and other top editors that slammed the magazine — and dropped some juicy details on celebs like Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney, as well as a couple secrets so scandalous she kept the stars anonymous!
Sara started the letter off as a sort of breakup with the company saying:
“It’s not me, it’s you. It’s been a wildly dysfunctional 14 years, and you’re an entirely different magazine than when we first got together.
The journalist continued by claiming:
“I swear half the current staff doesn’t know my name, despite my contribution to something like fifteen hundred stories in your celebrity annals, so here’s a refresher: I worked inside your London, Los Angeles and New York bureaus, covered breaking news in nine countries, and dealt with too many celebrities to remember.”
What’s probably the most surprising thing from the letter though is her celebrity mentions like how Clooney is awkward with children, or how J.Lo kind of spat in her face! Don’t worry though, she doesn’t hate ALL famous folk as she apparently loved hanging with “lower-key celebs” Rosario Dawson, Kyle MacLachlan, and Michael Douglas.
Unsurprisingly, when the New York Post reached out to the magazine, a spokesperson from the company said:
“We don’t comment on personnel matters.”
And it seems like great timing, seeing as her new book Red Carpet Regret: Confessions of a Cynical Celebrity Journalist is out now! Hmm, coincidence?!
If you want to see a more complete, but edited, version of the email — including a plug for her book of course — check it out (below):
Dear People Magazine,
It’s not me, it’s you. It’s been a wildly dysfunctional 14 years, and you’re an entirely different magazine than when we first got together. I swear half the current staff doesn’t know my name, despite my contribution to something like fifteen hundred stories in your celebrity annals, so here’s a refresher: I worked inside your London, Los Angeles and New York bureaus, covered breaking news in nine countries, and dealt with too many celebrities to remember (I know this because I was cruising through your archives recently and found my name on files I had no recollection of writing, and interviews with people I have no memory of meeting, like Ellen and Portia together, plus both leads in Nip/Tuck and that guy from Burn Notice). My first celebrity assignment for you was Spice Girl Geri Halliwell in 2002. My last was Robert De Niro in April 2016.
In between, there were memorable encounters galore, including making the gorgeous and empathic Mariska Hargitay ugly-cry (turns out she cries at like every charity-related event, phew), enduring an Oscar winner’s public bullying over an intimate dinner, facing a personal crisis at Tom Cruise‘s wedding in Rome, getting basically, kind of spat on by a snotty J. Lo (okay, it was like a very wet pffttt in my general direction, really obnoxious), having fun with endless lower-key celebs like Rosario Dawson and Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Douglas, observing just how stiff and awkward George Clooney is around kids, insulting Sheryl Crow‘s baby, and getting groped/harrassed by an A-list [omitted] performer in New York and Paris (that’s not to be flip├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥it was violating as hell. I’m still pissed I didn’t jab him in the balls with my pen).
This is just what the entitled stars and their batshit crazy publicists put me and many other talented, hard-working reporters through. You people, as it turns out, are worse. Stupidly, we expect loyalty and support from you after years of service. We are na├â┬»ve. Despite your nicey nice, glossy and chirpy veneer, some of us think of you more as the Leo DiCaprio of magazines, using up every beautiful model that crosses your path (“beautiful model”= “award-winning journalist” in this scenario), discarding them, and pretending you leave no wake behind you.
I’m oddly surprised my tenure here is ending not with explosive hatred stoked by a cold dismissal from an insensate behemoth (i.e. you)├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥a fate I watched ashen-faced friends and colleagues endure before my eyes during the Los Angeles bureau’s 2008 culling├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥but with a slow fade-out and a final venting of my gossip-weary spleen. Then again, that’s why I’m happy being freelance. I’ve survived something like eight rounds of layoffs where talented colleagues were bitch-slapped into oblivion and, I hope, will never give their nights, weekends, relationships and sanity again to keep up with an email chain about whether Jennifer Aniston is pregnant at 47 because of those tummy photos and what kind of mom will she be, when really she just had an extra burrito at lunch; but oh, wait, the rep says it’s just a rumor so there’s no story this week after all.
Read the rest in my mini-memoir.
I will say, what happens after that is that my debut teen mystery, the one I spent my adult life making into a reality, but which, despite the schlock regularly featured in its pages and online, People decided to ignore├óΓé¼ΓÇ£more to the point, they ignored me entirely├óΓé¼ΓÇ£even after I toiled away for them for 14 years. They wouldn’t even give me a digital post that I wrote, sourced, and agreed to remove the name of my book from (LOL). That book is called The Underdogs.
I’ll leave you with the kicker:
As I was crafting this letter, a Tweet came through from one of your top editors, Kate Coyne, crowing about her full-page People feature promoting her brand-new book, accompanied by a colorful screenshot. “Don’t ask how, but I got in touch with someone at @people├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥now I’m in the new issue. So grateful!”
You should be, Kate. Enjoy it while it lasts.
We’re not sure if that’s one of the most epic letters of resignation — or a Dear John letter! LOLz!
Either way, it seems like Sara is A LOT happier about moving on, and we wish her the best of luck in the future!
[Image via People.]