Gay Times, Britain’s longest-running news and lifestyle publication for gay men, took a laudable step in the direction of diversity this month with the appointment of mixed-race editor Josh Rivers.
Unfortunately the selection process appears not to have included a look at Mr Rivers’s social media history. A report by Buzzfeed’s LGBT editor Patrick Strudwick reveals an appalling history of racist, misogynistic and antisemitic tweets.
We include a few examples below, but would like to advise readers that the language used could potentially give offence.
One tweet about Jewish people read: “I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that f*****g ridiculously large honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be.”
In another, he repeated with approval a deliberately offensive soundbite from adult animation Family Guy: “Jews are gross. It’s the only religion with ‘ew’ in it.”
Various other tweets offered insensitive, ill-considered and downright offensive views on the Holocaust, lesbians, Egyptian men, and various other minorities.
Challenged on his views by Buzzfeed, he said “This is really hard to hear, “I’m kind of stunned…”
“I think it shows an immaturity, a certain amount of self-loathing. I think it shows that before recently I hadn’t been aware of the effects that social media and using platforms in such a nasty and pernicious way had.”
“it shows I have grown."
Mr Rivers has since sent a statement via his publicist:
“My tweets from a number of years ago show a great deal of self-loathing, a complete unawareness of the world around me and a disregard for others that I find deeply upsetting.
“To every single person these tweets will offend and disappoint: I am sorry.
“My role as editor of Gay Times today is to squash prejudice and represent our community in all its glorious and varied diversity. It is through my own development and desire to be a force for good in the world that I can apply my own learnings to help create a space for all of us to thrive within.”
Mr Rivers remains, at time of writing, the Editor of Gay Times.
BREAKING: Josh Rivers suspended as editor of Gay Times with immediate effect over racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic tweets— Matthew Moore (@mattkmoore) November 15, 2017
Mr Rivers has released a statement: