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November 15, 2017updated 17 Nov 2017 11:25am

Gay Times magazine sacks new editor Josh Rivers over ‘hateful’ past tweets saying it ‘does not tolerate such views’

By Freddy Mayhew

UPDATE (16/11/17): Gay Times has announced that it has sacked newly appointed editor Josh Rivers over a series of “ugly” past tweets, for which he has publicly apologised. In a statement the magazine 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 possible 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.”

The newly appointed editor of Gay Times magazine has today been suspended over a series of “ugly” and “hateful” tweets, including one in which he describes a woman as a “chav” with “retard children”.

Josh Rivers, who was named editor of the magazine in an editorial shake-up less than a month ago, apologised after the historic tweets were exposed by Buzzfeed UK.

Rivers 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.”

Gay Times magazine said Rivers’ past tweets “do not align with the values of Gay Times, or any of our employees, in any capacity”.

It said: “Josh has been suspended with immediate effect while we investigate the facts. Appropriate action will be taken in due course.”

Buzzfeed said it discovered the tweets while researching Rivers – who was previously the magazine’s marketing manager but took over as editor under new owner James Frost – following an invitation to interview him.

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It said it found “several dozen tweets” between 2010 and 2015 that “would shock many people”.

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

In another he said: “So the Egyptian men celebrate by raping women? Cool. Freedom rings for fat, smelly, hairy, cunt-face, backwards rapists. YAY!”

Another tweet read: “Was so close to casually asking this chav to keep her incested, down syndrome, retard children quiet. But I just switched carriages. #xmas.”

Rivers, who is mixed race, said: “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.

“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.”

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