This is a letter of resignation for the ages. Sara Hammel was staffed at People magazine for 14 years. So long, in fact, that she doesn’t even recall some of the A-list celebrities she rubbed elbows with in her tenure, like Portia and Ellen, but a search of her archives proves otherwise. The tone of Hammel’s letter definitely suggests some bitterness, after all, the first line of her letter is, “I quit.” She then continues with the following:
“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…”
It seems part of Hammel’s frustration stems from feeling underappreciated (something many of us can relate to), but it also seems to hint at disgust with the industry for contributing to negative gossip and creating stories where there is none, for example, she spends quite a bit of time railing about all of those Jennifer Aniston pregnancy rumors, and basically reveals that on a slow news day, a photo of Aniston having consumed “an extra burrito at lunch,” makes the front page. Even after her rep has confirmed the actress is not pregnant.
Hammel also mentions dealing with the “b@tsh!t crazy publicists,” of A-listers, “getting basically, kind of spat on by a snotty J. Lo,” and “just how stiff and awkward George Clooney is around kids.”
However, Hammel praises stars like ” the gorgeous and empathic Mariska Hargitay,” as well as “lower-key celebs like Rosario Dawson and Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Douglas.” Hammel’s entire letter of resignation can be found at The New York Post along with a link to her mini-memoir with more details.