The war of words over the firing of former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson raged on over the weekend with a new statement from the paper’s publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and an Instagram post from Abramson’s daughter that declared, “The story isn’t over, not even close.”
In his statement, Sulzberger repeated his claim reports Abramson was fired after discovering she was paid less than her male predecessor and confronting management are “untrue.”
“Perhaps the saddest outcome of my decision to replace Jill Abramson as executive editor of The New York Times is that is has been cast by many as an example of the unequal treatment of women in the workplace,” Sulzberger said. “Rather than accepting that this was a situation involving a specific individual who, as we all do, has strengths and weaknesses, a shallow and factually incorrect storyline has emerged.”
The allegation Abramson was fired after complaining about unequal pay has been reported by multiple media outlets, including the New Yorker, which published specific figures indicating her salary was as much as $US84,000 less than that of Bill Keller, who preceded her as executive editor. Sulzberger has maintained Abramson’s “total compensation” including stock and other benefits was actually higher than Keller’s. He repeated this assertion in his statement Saturday and also detailed the reasons he said he fired Abramson.
“Jill is an outstanding journalist and editor, but with great regret, I concluded that her management of the newsroom was not working out,” said Sulzberger. “During her tenure I heard repeatedly from her newsroom collegaues, women and men, about a series of issues including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues.”
Sulzberger’s statement came after an Instagram post from Abramson’s daughter, Cornelia Griggs, posted Friday that referenced her mother’s firing. Griggs’ post was a photo of a text message exchange in which a friend told her they were “steamed” about Abramson’s termination.
“Love to your mum – we should all aspire to be so pushy,” the friend wrote.
“Couldn’t agree more,” responded Griggs.
Griggs included a caption under the photo.
“Big thank you to all the #pushy #bossy #polarising women and men who get it,” she wrote. “The story isn’t over, not even close.”
This wasn’t the first time Griggs addressed her mother’s firing on her Instagram page. On Thursday, a day after Abramson was fired, Griggs posted a photo of her mother working out with a punching bag on the social media site.
“Mum’s badass new hobby,” she wrote.
The accusation Abramson was fired after disputing an alleged pay disparity could be consequential. On Friday, attorney Gloria Allred, who specialises in employment discrimination, told Business Insider it could constitute a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act if the allegations are true.
Abramson did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider Saturday.
View Sulzberger’s full statement and Griggs’ Instagram post below.