This has been a terrible PR week for companies.
On Wednesday, the left-leaning magazine the Cosmopolitan decided to run an incredibly ignorant and insensitive article explaining to readers how a woman lost 44 pounds without doing any exercise.
Here’s their tweet:
The article appears like it is just clickbait, until you actually read the story.
The article tells the heartbreaking story of Simone Harbinson, a Melbourne, Australia native that was diagnosed with malignant carcinoid tumor of the appendix, which is a very rare form of cancer.
While she suffered from a series of complications — including back surgery — she battled through as her cancer surgery was successful.
Harbinson’s illness resulted in her gaining 35 pounds. As such, Harbinson bought The Bod, which is a 12-week diet plan that balances protein, fat, and carbs.
Given that she couldn’t exercise after her surgery, it is true that she lost 44 pounds without going to the gym once.
“Simone’s weight loss success is proof that anyone can lose weight without breaking a sweat simply by eating more mindfully,” the Cosmopolitan wrote.
The problem is that the magazine framed the headline and article in a way that made cancer sound like it was an effective weight loss regime.
Cosmopolitan literally framed their article as if cancer is a hot new weight loss trend, and that didn’t sit well with readers.
Here a just a few of the tweets sent in response to the article:
She got cancer. Yes, I'm serious. pic.twitter.com/iO0Oz6bg7d
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) April 11, 2017
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) April 11, 2017
— RealLifeUnplugd (@RealLifeUnplugd) April 11, 2017
As a result of brutal backlash, Cosmopolitan deleted the tweet and changed the headline on the article to: “A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever.”
They did not issue an Editor’s note or an apology, either.
Careless journalism like this deserves to be called out because people should be intelligent enough to know that framing an article in a way that argues cancer is an effective new weight loss diet is beyond ignorant.