An actual apology: pg. 1 pic.twitter.com/HzT6HXa9zj
— Andre “Making Decisions Now” Henry (@andrehenry) September 22, 2019
Strang has since posted his public apology, in addition to stepping away from his role. He says he wants to pursue transparency and heal the relationships he’s broken: “I will be seeking counseling, as well as reaching out to Christian leaders about ways I can grow and better understand important issues, especially about race and equality.” RELEVANT, he said, will be bringing in “outside voices” to provide accountability for the magazine. Strang concludes his post by saying, “I’m deeply sorry to the people I’ve hurt. I’m sorry for my toxicity and insensitivity in leadership. I don’t want to be that person anymore. Thank you for your understanding and prayer.”
The magazine has posted a similar apology, asking for forgiveness from their followers and those who “lend their voices to our brand.”
The authors of the apology reiterate that Strang is stepping away, as well as the need for honesty and accountability: “We understand that none of the steps outlined here are worthwhile unless they’re met with action. Our pledge to you is to take the necessary steps. We understand we’ll be judged accordingly.”
One Twitter user expressed skepticism, as did Henry, about the genuineness of Strang’s apology, saying the CEO has been in that position before.
FWIW, he had a similar “sabbatical” over ten years ago, while I worked there. I’d love to be wrong, but I’m cynical that things will actually change long-term. https://t.co/MFjTbfa02q
— Tim Dikun (@tdikun) September 23, 2019
Another argued that Strang has long been aware of the harmfulness of his actions, making his apology hollow.
I’d like to clarify that later he apologized via AIM (yes, I worked there that long ago), so he knew his behavior was wrong. It’s surprising to see that over ten years later, he’s claiming to just now become aware of his insensitive behavior.
— Hemarie Jones (@hemarie) September 24, 2019
Henry has written another post here, giving his response to Strang’s and RELEVANT’s statements.
Despite the negativity surrounding Strang’s behavior, RNS reports that many of those speaking out against him maintain a high opinion of RELEVANT’s mission and work. Even Henry, in his first post on the controversy, said he had changed his initial opinion about the magazine’s inability to speak meaningfully about race. He wrote, “RELEVANT actually does publish quality content on a number of justice issues and has for many years, but it’s because the people they interview are brilliant.”
And Hamm told RNS, “Besides Cameron, it would have been the best job I’ve ever had.”