When 31-year-old Josh Rivers (pictured above) was named as the new editor of Gay Times, Britain’s oldest gay publication, people celebrated his appointment as the the first-ever person of color to run a British gay publication and evidence that he would “best serve the magazine’s diverse and culturally inquisitive audience.” But then, Buzzfeed did some digging and found that between 2010 and 2015 Rivers had issued a few dozen “racist, misogynistic and ableist tweets.” Now he has been suspended pending an investigation by the magazine’s publishers.
Here’s a sampling:
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.
The creepiest gay men are short, old asian men with long nails. Fact.
So the Egyptian men celebrate by raping women? Cool. Freedom rings for fat, smelly, hairy, cunt-face, backwards rapists. YAY!
I’ve just seen a girl in the tightest white tank & lord help me if she’s not pregnant, she should be killed. #gross
Fucking cunting whiney cunts. Cunting whiney fucking cunts. Go change your fucking tampon & stay the fuck out of my way.
Look here, tranny. 1) you look like a crackhead 2) YOU’RE A TRANNY & 3) your wig doesn’t deserve a mention. Avert your eyes, honey.
I’m thankful for TFL [Transport for London] & rising bus fares. Let’s keep homeless people on the streets & off our buses! #TT
Obese people wind me up. There should be a fat lane
Was so close to casually asking this chav to keep her invested Down syndrome, retarded children quiet. But I just switched carriages. #xmas
Josh Rivers was apparently surprised that these tweets were still on his account and said:
I think those tweets show that I was a really unhappy person who lashed out at the world around him…. I have since been in therapy and spoken to people about the things I need to speak about. That has been part of my personal journey and it’s unfortunate that I’ve said things that are so horrible about people in the past.
He added that his political awakening has “actually been relatively recent…. In the past couple of years.” He continued:
It is very normal to be blind to ourselves. There is nothing new or particularly outstanding about that. We as individuals can move through the world mindlessly. Until recently, I chose to be blind to the world…. I am a product of my environment – like many of us are.
I feel like you’re suggesting no one has ever grown or learned or developed…. I wasn’t born ready or awake. We should all be given the chance to learn to grow.
People go through the world mindlessly, but I have woken up, I have changed, I have grown up…. I have said things that are not kind or not nice and nor do they reflect the type of person that I have become.
Josh Rivers also issued the following statement through 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.
“I guess it’s never too late to try and be the best version of yourself,” he concluded.
Hours after BuzzFeed’s report, the Gay Times issued a tweet stating that Rivers had been suspended pending an investigation.
— Gay Times (@GayTimesMag) November 15, 2017
On Twitter, Gay Times wrote, “Josh Rivers’ past tweets do not align with the values of Gay Times, or any of our employees, in any capacity. Josh has been suspended with immediate affect while we investigate the facts. Appropriate action will be taken in due course.”