A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair magazine has apologised after it published a "humorous" video suggesting Hillary Clinton should "take up knitting" rather than run for office again.
The video has triggered numerous accusations of sexism on social media.
In the video, employees suggest six new year's resolutions to Mrs Clinton.
It is part of a series of such videos aimed at various public figures and fronted by Vanity Fair editors and writers.
In the video, staffers make a series of suggestions to Mrs Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, to move out of the political spotlight.
The tips include:
- "It's time to start working on your sequel to your book, What Happened: What the Hell Happened."
- "Get someone on your tech staff to disable autofill on your iPhone so that typing in F doesn't become 'Form Exploratory Committee for 2020'," (a reference to the date of the next presidential election)
- "You know how on Anderson Cooper you were telling him about alternate-nostril breathing? You seemed really adept. You should try teaching a class."
But the suggestion that attracted the greatest criticism on social media was that Mrs Clinton "take up a new hobby in the new year: volunteer work, knitting, improve comedy - literally anything that will keep you from running again".
Since the election, some commentators have complained that Mrs Clinton has been unable to assume responsibility for her role in the defeat which stunned and divided the party.
Many have called for Mrs Clinton and her supporters to move on, withdraw to the sidelines and allow the party to rebuild, say analysts.
Nonetheless, if this was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek call of that kind, many Twitter users were unimpressed.
Did Vanity Fair suggest that Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kerry or Al Gore take up new hobbies? Hillary Clinton is a Wellesley and Yale Law grad, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and the only female presidential candidate win the popular vote by 3 million. Apologize #Misogyny https://t.co/ripJWFlSMY— Nancy Levine (@nancylevine) December 27, 2017
Singing, knitting - what other hobbies does VF find appropriate for Ms. Clinton? I'm a woman who's a little younger than HRC and had spent decades in public service, too, so I need the complete list of acceptable alternatives to being seen in public.— Stacy Worthington (@StacyWColorado) December 27, 2017
Hillary Clinton has been named 22 times the "Most Admired Woman" let's talk about that Vanity Fair, in 16 years Hillary Clinton has earned 108M votes, held titles such as Professor, Lawyer, Advocate, First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, Presidential Nominee. Respect it.— Mr. Weeks (@MrDane1982) December 28, 2017
In response, the Vanity Fair writer behind the "knitting" suggestion, Maya Kosoff, reportedly tweeted that she did not "appreciate being taken out of context to make me seem super sexist".
Other Twitter users, including Fox News, cast the Twitterstorm as "liberal outrage".
But in a later statement, Vanity Fair spokeswoman Beth Kseniak said: "It was an attempt at humour and we regret that it missed the mark."
That apology has itself been criticised by Donald Trump.
Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb to Court of St James’s & a big fundraiser for CH, is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017
However, he was himself taken to task by commentators pointing out that Anna Wintour is the editor-in-chief of Vogue, not Vanity Fair. She is also artistic director of Conde Nast, which publishes both titles.
"Trump tweets defense of Vanity Fair's controversial Hillary Clinton video, somehow brings Anna Wintour into it," said the website of news magazine The Week.