View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

Minister calls for Observer columnist and editor to be sacked over ‘disgusting’ transsexuals ‘rant’

By PA Mediapoint

A Coalition minister has called for columnist Julie Burchill and Observer editor John Mulholland to be sacked over a "disgusting rant" against transsexuals.

Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone condemned an Observer piece in which the journalist made a series of cutting comments about "bedwetters in bad wigs" and "shemales".
The article was penned in defence of Burchill's fellow writer, Suzanne Moore, who came under fire on Twitter after suggesting that women were expected to look like "a Brazilian transsexual".
Burchill wrote that "screaming mimis" had accused her friend of "white feminist privilege" and forced her to leave the social networking site.
A note from the Observer readers' editor was later added to the article on the newspaper website.
"As you might imagine, I have received many emails protesting about this piece this morning," the note said. "Thank you to those who have written. I will be looking at this issue and will be replying to all in due course."
Posting on Twitter last night, Featherstone – a former equalities minister currently at the Department for International Development – wrote: "Julie Birchill (sic) rant against transgender community is absolutely disgusting – a bigoted vomit for which the Observer should sack her."
In a later Tweet she suggested Mulholland should also be sacked.
A Guardian News & Media spokeswoman said: "We acknowledge the strong reaction to Julie Burchill's piece published in The Observer.
“As indicated by Observer editor John Mulholland on Twitter, we are taking such reactions extremely seriously and we have asked our independent readers' editor to urgently investigate the matter."
The newspaper's independent readers' editor is Stephen Pritchard.

Content from our partners
New technology from EX.CO helps publishers double on-site video revenue
Five ways to fail in media job interviews
How Germany's Ippen.Media mastered content planning across 86 newsrooms

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network