Double Standard? Bill Ackman, A Top Claudine Gay Critic, Goes On A 5,000-Word Rant After His Wife Gets Called Out for Plagiarism

People handle the indignity of being publicly called out differently. Some apologize, others opt to remain quiet and wait for things to blow over (or sadly, blow up). Billionaire hedgie Bill Ackman, meanwhile, decided to write a 5,000-word rant and post it on X.

Ackman had been going after former Harvard president Claudine Gay over her handling of campus antisemitism after Hamas’s October 7 assault on Israel, and later for the allegations of plagiarism, emphasizing the seriousness of the offense. 

A Harvard alum, Ackman felt entitled to having an opinion on the matter, and became one of Gay’s top critics on social media, going as far as suggesting Gay, a Black woman and the institution’s first Black president, was chosen for the role because of the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. He pushed the school to remove her and later criticized them for deciding to keep her in the faculty after she finally resigned.

Related: Former Harvard President Claudine Gay May Still Earn $900,000 When She Returns to Faculty Job

After Gay resigned, Ackman then began to target Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) president Sally Kornbluth, posting “Et tu Sally?” on X on January 2

Kornbluth is the last of the three university presidents, along with Gay and University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill, questioned over handling antisemitism in their campuses by Congress, where their responses were found to have been insufficient. Magill had stepped down before Gay.

And then on Friday, Business Insider dropped a bombshell: Neri Oxman, “former MIT professor and celebrity within the world of academia stole sentences and whole paragraphs from Wikipedia, other scholars, and technical documents in her academic writing.” Oxman happens to be Ackman’s wife.

Oxman quickly acknowledged and apologized for the errors on Thursday. She posted an explanation on X, where she said that in the paragraphs cited, she “did not place the subject language in quotation marks, which would be the proper approach for crediting the work. I regret and apologize for these errors.”

The online publication found more instances of plagiarism and notified Oxfam about another story. Before it was published, Ackman was angered by how the publication did not give him and Oxman enough time to review new findings to assess if the accusations were in fact accurate. In a sort of retaliatory reflex, he said he would start a plagiarism review of all current MIT faculty members, Kornbluth and the school’s officials, and said that the results would be shared on a public domain.

“This experience has inspired me to save all news organizations from the trouble of doing plagiarism reviews,” he wrote. He also described the allegations as an attack on his family, saying “it is unfortunate that my actions to address problems in higher education have led to these attacks on my family.”

The following day, Ackman posted a 5,000-word rant about his thoughts on plagiarism, his wife, institutions, and the media. 

TL:DR

Not surprisingly, he’s received some backlash for the double standard. For both plagiarism and for targeting family members.

Via Threads
Via Threads

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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