Gay Times sacks newly appointed editor over sexist, antisemitic and homophobic tweets

Magazine says it will strive for inclusivity as it deletes all articles by former editor

Lucy Mapstone,Joe Nerssessian
Thursday 16 November 2017 18:16 GMT
‘These tweets from my past show a deep self-loathing that I’ve worked hard to overcome,’ said Mr Rivers
‘These tweets from my past show a deep self-loathing that I’ve worked hard to overcome,’ said Mr Rivers (Josh Rivers/Facebook)

The newly-appointed editor of Gay Times magazine, Josh Rivers, has had his employment terminated with "immediate effect" following an investigation into offensive historical tweets he posted.

The magazine also said it has removed all articles written by Mr Rivers.

The former marketing manager, who was less than a month into his new job, was previously suspended by the publication after a series of anti-Semitic and racist tweets came to light.

On Thursday, Gay Times confirmed the termination of his role in a statement posted on Twitter.

The statement said: "After an investigation of the facts surrounding historical tweets by Josh Rivers, the newly-appointed editor of Gay Times magazine, we announce that his employment has been terminated with immediate effect.

"We sincerely apologise for the offence that has been caused, particularly to those members of our wider community to whom such inappropriate and unacceptable commentary was the focus.

"Gay Times does not tolerate such views and will continue to strive to honour and promote inclusivity.

"Gay Times magazine will relaunch on 30 November, with what is quite possibly the most significant overhaul in its 33-year history.

"All articles written by Josh Rivers have been removed, and the new-look magazine will feature submissions and significant contributions from the far reaches of our wonderful and diverse LGBTQ community."

Following his suspension, Mr Rivers apologised for the online messages – which have since been deleted – which were shared between 2010 and 2015 and were initially exposed by BuzzFeed News.

One reportedly read: "I wonder if they cast that guy as 'The Jew' because of that f****** ridiculously larger honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be."

He is said to have described transgender people as "tranny", while another post reportedly read: "Long day. How would I type that with Chinese accent? Wong way?"

Others appeared to hit out at lesbians and a number of posts abused "fat" or "ugly" people.

Mr Rivers posted on Twitter on Wednesday: "To every single person who is hurt, offended and disappointed: I'm sorry. The tweets are horrible. They are abhorrent. They are ugly. They are so hateful.

"These tweets from my past show a deep self-loathing that I've worked hard to overcome.

"I have long taken steps to address the issues that prevented me from treating people with the respect and kindness I value so dearly now. It is because of my past and my own awakening that I've since pivoted everything in my life towards supporting and empowering our community.

"It is upsetting that the damage I caused before has now resurfaced to cause more pain."

He added: "I hope we can use this as an opportunity for growth, for healing, for moving forward. As evidenced by my own example, there is so much work to do."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in