The Real Whistleblower Behind The "Shitty Media Men" Spreadsheet Has Come Forward


No stranger to openly addressing issues of sexual harassment and abuse online and the backlash that brings, Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander revealed her own identity on Twitter on Wednesday.

"I am looking forward to talking about what is actually in the piece when it actually comes out", Roiphe said. And shortly thereafter, Roiphe emailed me to say "I am not "outing" anyone". "I have to say it's a little disturbing that anyone besides (President Donald) Trump views Twitter as a reliable news source". And the concern over naming names seemed nearly moot.

The list and its anonymous creator came back into the spotlight this week, after it was confirmed that Harper's magazine was set to publish a cover story about the list, potentially revealing the creator's identity in the process - and thus, setting her up for what could very much be a year full of doxxing, the unsafe yet common practice of exposing a person's personal information online, as pointed out by several people on social media.

Donegan, who wrote that she had graduated from college in 2013, began by explaining that she was the person who had first "collected a range of rumours and allegations of sexual misconduct, much of it violent, by men in magazines and publishing". The creators of the document were anonymous.

Donegan adits that she never intended for the spreadsheet she created to grow to the size, or reach as many hands, as it did.

"It was active for only a few hours, during which it spread much further and much faster than I ever anticipated", she wrote. Several screenshots were circulated and the document itself was posted on Reddit.

"I had imagined a document that would assemble the collective, unspoken knowledge of sexual misconduct that was shared by the women in my circles", she writes.

The author of a list that documented names of men from the media industry who have been accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour, has come forward claiming the document was meant to encourage women to share their harrassment stories without being discredited or judged.

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After scuttlebutt spread that writer Katie Roiphe was planning to name the person who started the list in an upcoming essay for the periodical, fears quickly emerged that the whistleblower would be "doxxed" - meaning her private personal details would be posted online - or otherwise attacked.

The Harper's spokeswoman disputes this. Through a spokeswoman, James Marcus, the editor of Harper's, declined to comment. But Donegan says a Harper's fact-checker sent her an email that said Roiphe "identifies you" in the article. She says her life has changed dramatically in the aftermath. "I want to be clear on that".

On Tuesday, N+1 editor Dayna Tortorici tweeted that a magazine writer was about to reveal who'd begun the list-a shared Google Doc of reputedly predatory, or at least creepy, male writers and editors, most of whom are based in NY, and several of whom have been fired since their names appeared on the unpublished and unvetted and unsigned, but very powerful, list.

In another piece for The New Yorker titled "Rebecca Solnit's Faith in Feminist Storytelling", Donegan studies the nature of feminist storytelling in the book, "The Mother of All Questions".

Lots of people claimed to be the spreadsheet's creator - often convincingly - because a forthcoming piece in Harper's magazine was rumoured to name said creator, likely exposing her to doxxing, death threats, and harassment.

Harper's is reportedly still planning on running a feature about the list, written by Katie Roiphe, in its March issue, although the specific angle and contents of the article are now unknown. News 4 obtained a recording from the woman's ex-husband in which the unidentified woman detailed her alleged affair with Greitens, including how after one intimate moment, he put a blindfold on her.

But she said the experience of creating the list also made her realize the power that women can wield.