Sunday Times drops Kevin Myers and apologises for offensive article

Column removed as newspaper issues apology over piece about gender pay gap

 Columnist Kevin Myers will no longer write for ‘The Sunday Times’ following the publication of a piece   containing offensive remarks about Jewish people. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Columnist Kevin Myers will no longer write for ‘The Sunday Times’ following the publication of a piece containing offensive remarks about Jewish people. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Columnist Kevin Myers will no longer write for The Sunday Times following the publication of a piece on Sunday containing offensive remarks about Jewish people .

In a statement released on Sunday a spokesman for the newspaper said he “ will not write again for The Sunday Times Ireland. A printed apology will appear in next week’s paper.”

The Kevin Myers article appeared in today’s Sunday Times Ireland edition
The Kevin Myers article appeared in today’s Sunday Times Ireland edition

The Sunday Times had earlier on Sunday apologised for publishing the article and for causing offence to Jewish people. The column, which appeared in the Ireland edition of the Sunday Times, has been removed from its website. Myers could not be reached for comment.

In the column headlined “Sorry, ladies - equal pay has to be earned”, Myers hits out at the “tiresome monotone consensus of the commentariat, all wailing and shrieking as one about how hard done by are the women of the BBC”.

The article said: “I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC - Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted - are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents?”

The Myers article was in response to a growing controversy over the gender pay gap in journalism.

The article was later removed from the Times Ireland website
The article was later removed from the Times Ireland website

The Times and its sister paper the Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers in London, which is a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland edition, said in a statement : “On behalf of the Sunday Times I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused by comments in a column written by Kevin Myers .

“It contained views that have caused considerable distress and upset to a number of people . As the editor of the Ireland edition I take full responsibility for this error of judgment. This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people”.

Martin Ivens, editor of the Sunday Times, said Myers’s comments were “unacceptable and should not have been published. It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise for both the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication.”

The UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism said it had discussed the article with News UK and had recommended that he would not write for the newspaper again and that it would print an apology

An article by Myers published eight years ago in the Irish Independent about the Holocaust was also deleted by that newspaper on Sunday. The landing page says: “This article, published on March 4, 2009, does not comply with our editorial ethos and was removed on July 30, 2017”.

Myers, a former Irishman’s Diary columnist with The Irish Times before his move to the Irish Independent and later the Sunday Times, is no stranger to controversy. He previously referred to children of single mothers as “bastards” in an Irish Times column, in 2005.

Following that publication, the Editor at the time, Geraldine Kennedy, said in an article “I regret the decision to publish the Diary. I am sorry for the offence caused to hundreds of women and children, to many readers of this newspaper.”

In 2008, Myers wrote another column for the Irish Independent under the headline: “Africa has given the world nothing but AIDS.” He later said the headline was “not quite what I said - the missing ‘almost’ goes a long way; and anyway, my article was about aid, not Aids.”