“The first thing is that there are no fucking comments on the site,” Broadly editor-in-chief and director of content Tracie Egan Morrissey told Adweek yesterday when Vice unveiled its 11th channel, a site designed for women.
“If you want to say something nice you can email us, if you want to say something mean you can go to hell,” she said in the interview. “My writers deserve to be protected from that bullshit.”
“That bullshit” is an issue many bloggers, writers and journalists face—including women. Comments sections, while important to maintaining a Socratic line of thinking and sparking clear-eyed debate, also produce echo chambers of bigotry and vitriol.
Morrissey and her publisher Shannon Kelley chiseled away for the last 10 months on the site, which is now live and already has some compelling content, including a video interview with whip-smart hell-raiser Rose McGowan, whose sexist treatment in Hollywood pushed the actress to go rogue as a filmmaker (watch below). Another piece, a cheeky column, asks, “Does VICE Have a Bro Culture?”
Broadly also features bylines of Rie Rasmussen, Jamie Peck and Anna del Gaizo, who are among the former models who’ve accused photographer Terry Richardson, formerly a close collaborator with Vice, of sexually harassing and inappropriate behavior. That is “not a coincidence,” Morrissey told the Observer. “Hiring these women and giving them a platform is our comment.”
Broadly also hopes to “talk to everyone from Ann Coulter to the president of the National Abortion Federation to the black riot grrrls that history forgot,” per Morrissey’s inaugural editor’s letter, written “From the editor’s desk, and by ‘desk’ I mean a coffee table littered with five-hour old nachos that I’m still picking at.” Clearly she is chasing something unstuffy, accessible and more incisive than rote aggregation.