Newly appointed Gay Times editor Josh Rivers lasted less than one month in the role, before his twitter history of racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and ableist views was revealed.
It seems ironic that, on the day that Australia made the fabulous leap into legalizing same-sex marriage, the tweets from the magazine’s editor came to light, following a recent tirade of support for diversity and all things LGBT+.
Gay Times suggested that Rivers’ appointment would, “best serve the magazine’s diverse and culturally inquisitive audience,” whilst he himself told The Drum that he was appointed due to his, “keen eye for detail, well-honed leadership skills and the ability to execute [his] vision.” We suspect that the ‘vision’ that he gave bosses was a far cry from that expressed in his tweets.
Harking back to 2010, one tweet brands “short, old Asian men with long nails” as the “creepiest gay men, whilst another brands Family Guy’s “Jews are gross” line as “genius”. One particularly vulgar tweet cried out for a “chav” to keep her “inscested, down syndrome, retarded child quiet” (he ultimately said nothing and switched carriages – bravo).
Gay Times is one of the UK’s major LGBT+ outlets, with a huge national and international following. Therefore, one has to wonder what implications this will have on the LGBT+ community. For so long we have sought acceptance and inclusion, and, just as things as progressing, someone who publically stood for everything we are trying to oppose has now swept in to head the operation. Upon his appointment, it was suggested that there would be a shift in content so as to, “build a relevant journal that will inspire the modern man” – we dread to think!
Following a short investigation, River’s employment with the company was terminated, with Gay Times issuing the following statement:
A statement from Gay Times regarding Josh Rivers. pic.twitter.com/nJ7gDLxE7e
— Gay Times (@GayTimesMag) November 16, 2017
On the same day, Rivers issued an apology, suggesting that it was a “deep self-loathing” that inspired such a hateful and abhorrent outlook.
To every single person who is hurt, offended and disappointed: I’m sorry. pic.twitter.com/XAwz7llKxc
— Josh Rivers (@_joshrivers) November 15, 2017
But, what remains troubling is Rivers’ suggestion that “we” should use him as an example “for growth, for healing,” as though his ascent from a “self-loathing” keyboard warrior to editor of a major LGBT+ publication should be a model for all of our lives.
Well, it shouldn’t. And the implication of his belief that we all bear a deep-set hatred for the diverse around us opens the debate as to whether these attitudes should qualify one as an appointed figurehead for the LGBT+ community.