Hoeke, who had been with the Dutch fashion magazine for eight years, oversaw the most recent issue, which included a brief item about Rihanna’s style in which the singer was referred to as the “ultimate n—abitch.”
“She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat,” the piece read, as translated by Parlour magazine. “Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate n—abitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it.”
After learning of the use of the racial slur, Rihanna took to Twitter to blast Hoeke and the publication.
“I hope u can read english, because your magazine is apoor representation of the evolution of human rights!” she wrote. “I find you disrespectful, and rather desperate!! You ran out of legit, civilized information to print! There are 1000’s of Dutch girls who would love to be recognized for their contributions to your country, you could have given them an article. Instead, u paid to print one degrading an entire race!”
Hoeke then apologized for the slur, posting a letter to readers on the magazine’s Facebook page, saying there was no “racist motive” behind the choice of words.
“This should have never happened. Period,” she wrote. “While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least. And that slipped through my, the editor-in-chief’s, fingers. Stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned. The author has been addressed on it, and now I can only ensure that these terms will no longer end up in the magazine.”
But Hoeke was criticized for her apology, which some bloggers derided as a “non-apology apology” while others expressed incredulity over the fact that Hoeke called the word choice a “joke.”
On Tuesday, Jackie issued a press release saying that Hoeke had been “taunted and threatened in various ways” after she issued her apology.
“Throughout the various social media, there has been an emotional response to this choice of words, as published in Jackie,” the press release read, as translated by Parlour magazine. “As a first reaction to this, editor-in-chief Eva Hoeke said via Twitter that the choice of words was meant as a joke and offered an apology to anyone who felt offended. This reaction causes further consternation, as Hoeke herself also referred to the term elsewhere in the magazine.”
After two further apologies failed to placate readers, she consulted with publisher Yves Gijrath of GMG, and the duo came to the “joint conclusion” the she should resign effective immediately.
“I realize that my first reaction through Twitter, in which I indicated that it was a joke, has been an incomplete description of what me, and also the author of the article, meant,” Hoeke said in a statement. “The term ‘n—-bitch’ came from America, and we solely used it to describe a style of dress. Because of the enormous pressure through social media I was tempted to promise amendment regarding the language in future issues of Jackie. Apart from that I also offered an rectification. I have now come to the conclusion that rectification is not the right solution. I regret that I have taken a stand too quickly regarding an article in Jackie — which moreover had no racial motive at its basis.”
She continued: “Through the course of events, me and the publisher have concluded that because my credibility is now affected, it is better for all parties if I quit my function as editor-in-chief effective immediately. After putting my heart and soul into for Jackie for eight years, I realize that these errors — although not intented maliciously — are enough reason for leaving.”
Gijrath, meanwhile, said the decision to use social media to respond to the controversy has hurt the credibility of all involved.
“I should have counted to 10 before taking unnuanced stands through social media channels,” he said. “Through this, my credibility has been hurt and that neither fits the role of an editor-in-chief, nor Jackie Magazine. Jackie Magazine will invite Rihanna to share her feelings and thoughts on the article in the next issue.”