The Real Story of “West Elm Caleb”

The TikTok stories of women ghosted by the same tall male furniture designer has spiraled into something terrible.


Episode Notes

The name on every TikTokker’s lips is “West Elm Caleb,” a New York City twenty-something whose dating practices and history have come under major scrutiny, after women started posting videos about their negative experiences with him. Things quickly got out of control as more and more people got swept up in the gossipy drama. On today’s episode, Madison and Rachelle talk to some of the women who shared their own stories about dating Caleb online. Then, they discuss how this is a moment both about the power of women coming together to protect each other and the way that this collective’s motives can quickly turn south.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton twice a week as they gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back. All episodes


  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.