Gay Times editor suspended over racist, antisemitic and transphobic tweets

Josh Rivers apologises and claims messages ‘show a deep self-loathing’ from his past

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 15 November 2017 20:50 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)

Josh Rivers, the new editor of Gay Times magazine, has been suspended after old tweets surfaced in which he mocked Jews and transgender people.

Other tweets were racist, profane or insulted people’s manner or appearance, or mocked disability.

The magazine said they “do not align with the values of Gay Times, or any of our employees, in any capacity”.

Mr Rivers, who had only been in the job for two weeks, was suspended “with immediate effect while we investigate the facts”, it said, adding: “Appropriate action will be taken in due course.”

In one apparently antisemitic tweet, Mr Rivers said: “I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that fucking ridiculously large honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be.”

And in another, he said: “Jews are gross. It’s the only religion with ‘ew’ in it.’ Family Guy genius before the festivities begin.”

In a message mocking a transgender person, Mr Rivers wrote: “Look here, tranny. 1) you look like a crackhead 2) YOU’RE A TRANNY & 3) your wig doesn’t deserve a mention. Avert your eyes, honey.”

A fourth tweet read: “I’m amused at the twinks that call themselves ‘straight-acting’. Honey, I can imagine a tampon hanging out your shorts just from your photo.”

The posts dated largely from 2010 and 2011 though one, from 2015, quoted approvingly a friend as having said: “Look, Josh. A fat girl eating a carrot. It must be January.”

Mr Rivers was confronted with them during an interview with Buzzfeed News, in which he claimed the messages showed “that I was a really unhappy person who lashed out at the world around him”.

He has since sought therapy, he said.

A Tweet sent by newly-appointed Gay Times editor Josh Rivers in 2010

One particularly cruel 2010 tweet cited by Buzzfeed read: “Was so close to casually asking this chav to keep her incested, down syndrome, retard children quiet. But I just switched carriages. #xmas”.

In another, the LGBT activist said: “The creepiest gay men are short, old Asian men with long nails. Fact.”

Mr Rivers later offered an apology on Twitter.

He said: “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.”

A past tweet by Josh Rivers (Twitter)

He added: “I hope we can use this as an opportunity for growth, for healing, for moving forward.”

It was unclear to whom he was referring as “we”.

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