Belfast Telegraph

Fired Gay Times editor: I was appalled by offensive tweets

He was in the role for less than a month.

The sacked editor of Gay Times magazine, Josh Rivers, who was fired over a series of offensive tweets, has said he was “appalled” by his posts.

The former marketing manager, who was less than a month into his new job as the first non-white editor of the publication, was sacked on Thursday after a series of tweets which have been described as anti-Semitic, racist, transphobic and abusive came to light.

Rivers, appointed in October, initially issued an apology before telling Radio 4’s PM he was “stunned” when he was initially made aware of the posts – which were sent between 2010 and 2015 – by BuzzFeed News.

“I was appalled… I was stunned, I was confused.

“I spent most of my 20s in a daze, in a blur. I was not sober as much as I probably could have been,” he added.

On his brief stint as editor, he said: “I got involved in Gay Times because I wanted to be part of the solution, one of the things I had realised as part of my awakening and growing up was I didn’t see myself represented in the places I wanted to see myself.

“It felt like I was reaching one of my goals.”

He said he was now focusing on his “mental wellbeing”, adding: “I’ve worked very hard to get myself to a place emotionally and mentally that allows me to be the person I know that I can be.”

On whether he expected forgiveness for the messages, Mr Rivers said: “I want people to do what is best for them in this moment.

“I want them to be angry, I want them to be compassionate, I want them to do what they need to do to get through the disappointment and anger and offence.”

On Thursday, Gay Times confirmed the termination of his role in a statement posted on Twitter.

They added: “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.”

They added all Rivers’ articles had been removed and they were relaunching on November 30 with “quite possibly the most significant overhaul” in its 33-year history.

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