Gay Times magazine has sacked its editor, Josh Rivers, after a string of tweets came to light in a Buzzfeed article.
Rivers, 31, had only been in the post for a month and had been hailed as an exciting new BAME voice in LGBT+ media.
Rivers’ tweets, dating back to 2010, made comments about Jewish people, overweight people, women, Asian men, homeless people, working class people, lesbians and Africa.
The Gay Times released a statement at 10.30 this morning, stating that his “employment has been terminated with immediate effect”:
Rivers’ anti-semitic comments in particular threatened the Gay Times Honours 2017 which are taking place on Saturday at the National Portrait Gallery.
Jewish RuPaul star Jiinkx Monsoon considered pulling out of her role as co-host but tweeted fans last night saying she would continue with her commitments so as not to risk “punishing those who weren’t involved”.
The former Gay Times Marketing manager had no journalistic experience before taking the role of editor last month, but at the time he insisted he was the right man for the job, boasting he was picked for his “keen eye for detail, well-honed leadership skills and the ability to execute [his] vision”.
That keen eye for detail didn’t notice a litany of repulsive tweets posted between 2010 and 2015, including one shocking rant about a “chav” mother and her “retard” children.
The Gay Times was bought by James Frost in March this year after the iconic title went into administration. This month, editor Darren Scott and deputy editor Ryan Butcher stood down, leaving the publication with no journalists on staff.
At the time, Rivers claimed that Marketing is not so dissimilar to journalism.
Yesterday afternoon, he posted an apology on his Twitter account, saying: “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.”
He continued: “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 respect and kindness I value so dearly now.
“I hope we can use this as an opportunity for growth, for healing, for moving forward” He said. “As evidenced by my own example, there is so much work to do.”
Since Rivers’ tweets came to light, speculation has been rife as to whether he could hang on to his job, with many expressing regret that the first BAME editor of an LGBT magazine in the UK should fall on his sword for, amongst other things, racist tweets.
He also tweeted a ‘joke’ implying a trip to Africa would lead to his murder.
Since his statement, Josh Rivers’ Twitter account has fallen silent and he is yet to comment on his dismissal.