Last month it was reported that the Onion, ClickHole, and the A.V. Club were bracing for layoffs as Univision, which has owned a controlling stake in Onion Inc. since 2016, moved to make budget cuts. Thanks to Onion Inc.’s vote to unionize earlier this year, the Onion union secured voluntary buyouts for several full-time staffers that included 18 weeks of severance pay and benefits. Several days later, on August 6, a handful of ClickHole’s freelance contributors were let go. Since getting the bad news, the contributors have turned to Twitter to reveal some of the work they wrote for the site.
According to multiple sources we spoke to, changes to ClickHole’s freelancer network happen all the time, and some of the former contributors who have taken credit for their work this week are past writers who weren’t let go in the latest purge (some of the articles shared this week go back as far as 2014). Still, it’s rare to get a behind-the-scenes peek at the writers behind your favorite ClickHole headlines, since both of Onion Inc.’s satirical sites keep bylines anonymous. Or as one former ClickHole writer put it, “With the Onion, they’re very protective and serious about keeping things anonymous, so the nice silver lining for this is everyone being like ‘fuck it’ and getting to take credit.”
Here’s a roundup of the work some former contributors have shared so far this week: