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Variety Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller sent the following memo to staff on Thursday night:

Dear Team,

The last few months have been an incredibly stressful and challenging time, for everyone. That said, there is no excuse for the Twitter exchange I had with Piya last night. I completely understand your anger and upset at me; it is not at all misplaced. I am so ashamed, humiliated and regretful for my actions and the pain it has caused both internally and externally. I sent a direct message to Piya to apologize profusely for my insensitive and ignorant remarks, which I made in a moment when what I should have been doing was listening.

I want to say my behavior engaging on Twitter in this manner was not representative of my more than 30 years as a journalist, nor was it reflective of who I am as a mother and a wife. After a very tough and emotional conversation with Jay this afternoon, I am recognizing that my many years as a journalist did not necessarily prepare me for a leadership role in such a large and thriving newsroom. Looking back, hard work and competition were two of my main tools to get ahead in my career. The success I found in my hard-charging style as a journalist, I now realize, can come across as autocratic when I’m managing others. It can even be perceived that I lack empathy for you. Dammit, I do care. I care deeply about each of you, and I care deeply about Variety. I can’t apologize enough to those I have let down. I take today’s criticisms of me very seriously. I just wish I could’ve listened to each of you sooner. 

As a result of my discussion with Jay, it’s clear to me that I need to take a serious moment of reflection. Effective immediately, I will be taking a leave from my role at Variety.

No one should ever be afraid to speak up and disagree with me. I recognize the need for greater empowerment of those on our staff – I have suffocated too many good ideas and not empowered our next generation of leaders. I also need to create a better system for cultivating talent of diverse backgrounds. I have tried to grow our team with diversity and inclusivity in mind, and we have succeeded in some areas. But all leaders in 2020 must make diversity a top priority, not just now, but every day, through consistent action and attention.

I sincerely hope that, when the time is right, each of you would consider giving me a chance to rejoin this great organization and someday make you proud. As I said, I have a lot of thinking, working, and changing to do.

Thank you all, with my deepest apologies. And please stay safe. I really hope to see all of you again.

Gratefully yours,

Claudia