Writer Moira Donegan has come forward as the creator of a notorious document passed around within the media industry that lists the names of men working in the business who have been accused of various kinds of sexual misconduct ranging from emotional abuse to rape. Before revealing herself, rumors had begun circulating that a writer had planned to out her to the public, potentially exposing her to doxxing and other dangers.
According to Jezebel, the "Sh*tty Media Men" list existed as a google spreadsheet with an attached warning that many of the accusations listed within were unconfirmed. The creators of the document were anonymous. On Tuesday, rumors on social media began circulating that a major magazine had been working on a piece that would name the originator of the document, thus exposing her to considerable legal and physical danger from those who may want to retaliate.
Later that day, five writers had announced they were pulling their articles from Harper's Magazine in the hopes of pressuring the periodical into not releasing the document's creator's name.
Controversial writer Katie Roiphie, the author of the as-yet-incompleted Harper's article, told The New York Times that she had not planned on outing the creator of the spreadsheet.
“I am looking forward to talking about what is actually in the piece when it actually comes out,” she said. “I am not ‘outing’ anyone. I have to say it’s a little disturbing that anyone besides Trump views Twitter as a reliable news source ... I would never put in the creator of the list if they didn’t want to be named.”
Nonetheless, in anticipation of having her name released, Donegan instead outed herself in a first person essay on The Cut.
“The anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault," she wrote.
Donegan claims she never expected the list to gain any sort of following or mainstream media attention: “I had imagined a document that would assemble the collective, unspoken knowledge of sexual misconduct that was shared by the women in my circles: What I got instead was a much broader reckoning with abuses of power that spanned an industry,” she continued.
The status of the in-progress Harper's article is now unclear.