Whisper network

Journalist Katie Roiphe says she never planned to out the creator of ‘Shitty Media Men’ list

Writer Katie Roiphe. (Facebook)

Harper’s magazine writer Katie Roiphe has denied claims that she planned to publish the name of the woman who created the Shitty Media Men list, an online spreadsheet in which women could share their stories of creepy, abusive, or violent behavior by men at their places of work.

“I am not ‘outing’ anyone,” Rophie told The New York Times, adding that she “would never put in the creator of the list if they didn’t want to be named.” According to the Times, however, a fact checker did reach out to the alleged creator of the list — an action that ultimately prompted Moira Donegan to out herself as the list’s creator in an essay for The Cut. In her essay, Donegan explained that the list had never been meant to be made public, and that it had been designed to function as a whisper network that was available to as many women as possible in the media and publishing industry.

“By the time I had to take the document down, more than 70 men had been named on the version that I was managing,” Donegan wrote. “The men ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s, and 14 had been highlighted in red to denote more than one accusation of sexual assault or rape. Some have expressed doubts about the veracity of the claims in the document, but it’s impossible to deny the extent and severity of the sexual-harassment problem in media if you believe even a quarter of the claims that were made on the spreadsheet. For my part, I believe significantly more than that.”

Donegan also claimed that she had “learned Katie Rophie would be publishing my name in a forthcoming piece in Harper’s magazine,” and confirmed that she had received an email from a fact checker who said that Rophie had identified her “as a woman widely believed to be one of the creators of the Shitty Men in Media List.”

Following Donegan’s big reveal, Harper’s magazine retweeted a message from what appeared to be Rophie’s newly-created Twitter account.

“I understand why people are confused about my intentions,” the message read. “Moira Donegan refused to speak to me so I involved a fact checker in the reporting process. It seemed to me, for various reasons, that Moira might want to claim responsibility for the list, and I was testing that premise.”

Read the full story at The Cut.

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