The editor in chief of Believer magazine, as well as the former artistic and executive director of the Black Mountain Institute, Joshua Wolf Shenk, resigned amid his scandalous exposure during a Zoom meeting, the Los Angeles Times reported. He noted that the act was a “dumb, reckless choice to disregard appropriate setting and attire for a Zoom meeting,” where Shenk, reportedly by accident, appeared naked while bathing.
“I crossed a line that I can’t walk back over. I sorely regret the harm to you — and, by extension, to the people we serve. I’m sorry,” he wrote in a farewell letter to staff.
The incident took place in February during a Zoom conference with about a dozen staff members of the institute and the magazine. Shenk was at the time in a bath, purportedly with epsom salts to ease fibromyalgia-caused nerve pain, wearing a mesh shirt and using a virtual background as a cover-up.
When laptop battery quit, Shenk stood up out of the bath to plug it in to a charger, reportedly unaware that the camera was still on. The incident was immediately reported to the university’s Office of Equal Employment and Title IX.
The 50-year-old editor offered multiple apologies for ‘hurting’ BMI staff.
“After my lapse in judgment, I decided to resign so that BMI’s work — sparking culture in Southern Nevada, publishing The Believer, and hosting writers persecuted in their home countries — could best continue in their exceptionally capable hands,” he said in a statement for the Los Angeles Times.