Felicia Sonmez, a Washington Post reporter who has recently been at the centre of a debate about the organization’s social media policies and newsroom culture, was fired on Thursday, according to three people with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
The Post’s termination notice said Sonmez was fired for, “misconduct that includes insubordination, maligning your coworkers online and violating The Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.”
“We cannot allow you to continue to work as a journalist representing The Washington Post,” the letter concluded.
Sonmez declined to comment when reached by phone. The Washington Post declined to comment as well.
Sonmez’s departure was first reported by The Daily Beast.
Sonmez has been at the centre of an intra-Post feud that began last Friday after reporter David Weigel retweeted a sexist joke.
By Monday, the Post had suspended Weigel without pay for one month and chastised him in both public and private statements.
However, the retweet, which Sonmez was the first to highlight both on Twitter and within the Post, has caused chaos in the paper’s newsroom.
Sonmez, who sued the paper for discrimination in 2021 (the suit was recently dismissed; she plans to appeal), has been vocal in recent weeks about issues of inequity in the newsroom.
Sonmez had been harshly critical of The Post’s leadership, including Executive Editor Sally Buzbee and many of her colleagues, in public comments.
Some of her coworkers took to Twitter to beg Sonmez to stop attacking The Post on social media.