In October, the magazine itself made headlines after publishing an account from former reporter Natasha Stoynoff, who accused the then-presidential candidate of groping her during a 2005 interview. The high-profile personal essay came on the heels of the Trump-Billy Bush tape and ushered in a slew of other women who spoke out for the first time to accuse Trump of sexual assault and similar treatment.
When Trump threatened a lawsuit, People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle stood behind his writer and her "clear, credible account of what happened." He said in a statement: "It is heartbreaking that her fear of retaliation by Trump kept her from reporting the incident when it happened."
On Wednesday, celebrities and the media were quick to call out the cover story for celebrating the divisive president-elect in its biography of the Trump family and chronological revisiting of election season events. The day it hit stands, the country saw nationwide anti-Trump rallies across major cities: In New York City, thousands chanted "Not my president" outside his Trump Tower residence; in downtown Los Angeles, crowds burned a giant papier-mache Trump head and whacked a Trump piñata.
Judd Apatow blasted the magazine, tweeting: "F--- @people magazine. How disgusting. Selling their soul. Soon the happy Donald cover. Sell those mags! F--- your employees."
"The accompanying write-up is f---ing surreal, with an unnamed Trump 'family source' confirming the blindingly newsworthy tidbit that yes, 'the kids' are very excited," writes Anna Merlan for Jezebel. "In the same breath, the writer Julie Mazziotta blankly notes that everyone at Trump’s party was chanting 'Lock her up' and 'Build a wall.'”
Actress Zoe Kazan called for a boycott, using the hashtag #BOYCOTTPEOPLEMAGAZINE. "Your own writer was assaulted by this man. Now you look the other way for profit?" she tweeted. "Normalizing him is shameful. I won't stand for it."
Jon Cryer joined Kazan's call.
Gabriella Paiella for New York magazine's The Cut called out People for treating Trump and his family in a "noticeably more positive light" on social media, highlighting a post of 22 photos of Ivanka Trump and her children and a family portrait of the Trumps to accompany a story about his White House decor plans.
Chrissy Teigen replied to People's tweets of the cover and of the Ivanka Trump photos saying, "If I didn't love you guys so much, I wouldn't feel so sick. So much for that writer, eh?"
Comedian Emmy Blotnick also replied to the Ivanka Trump tweet saying, "@people go f--- yourself."
And Slate's L.V. Anderson focused on the Ivanka Trump tweet in its piece, titled: "Amoral People Magazine Is Already Fawning Over How 'Cute' Trump’s Family Is."
When People initially published Stoynoff's piece, many wondered why it took the magazine so long to come out with the story. In an Oct. 19 column for The Hollywood Reporter, columnist Michael Wolff wrote just that.
"People had firsthand proof the marriage [between Donald and Melania Trump] was something other than what it said it was but drooled sycophantically over the couple anyway," Wolff writes. "The influence of People contributed to creating the celebrity stature of Trump. Now, with no more information than it had then, it wants to take that stature back. Who's responsible for what? Who's less trustworthy here?"
This article originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.