The Daily Mail has apologised after calling an Australian reality TV contestant a “vapid c***” in an article she is now considering taking legal action over.
The story, published on Sunday, was slammed on social media as “appalling”, “disgusting” and “obscene” before it was edited some two hours later to remove the comment.
The article, by Daily Mail Australia reporter April Glover, focused on the cosmetic treatment ex-Bachelor in Paradise contestant Florence Alexandra uses to combat bags under her eyes, but became personal in the final paragraph.
The controversial paragraph began with a brief outline of Alexandra’s TV credits - she “rose to fame” on Matty J’s season of The Bachelor, before “trying her luck at love again in Paradise”, the article noted.
It then read:
Most people who were educated at a high-school level know these vapid c**** only go on the shows to find mediocre Instagram fame and make a living promoting teeth whiteners and unnecessary cosmetic procedures."
Screenshots of the paragraph quickly circulated on social media which led to the Mail editing the copy, and some amused reactions by other journalists, like Emily Baker from the Canberra Times.
Alexandra is quoted in The Daily Telegraph as saying she is talking to her lawyers about taking legal action over the story.
“That’s not a word I would ever use, even for someone I don’t like,” she said.
“I’m not shallow, or materialistic, which is what the journalist is suggesting.”
The Daily Mail has yet to respond to a request for comment from HuffPost, but has issued an apology, saying the “offensive wording” was removed as soon as it became aware of it.
According to AdNews, the Mail said: “Daily Mail Australia would like to apologise for inappropriate language that appeared on an article published by this site on Sunday morning,” a spokesman said.
“The story about Bachelor in Paradise star Florence Alexandra contained offensive wording that should not have been included.
“As soon as we became aware of the mistake, the wording was removed.
“The Daily Mail Australia will properly investigate how the offending words were published.”
Glover has not commented on the story.
The Guardian reported on Monday that it understood that the journalist had accidentally uploaded her own “musings” into the story.
Quoting sources at the Mail, it said Glover was “mortified” by the mistake.
The newspaper suggested that Glover had written the story in a Google document due to problems with the Mail’s content management system and had mistakenly cut and pasted the paragraph, “written for her own eyes only”, into the article.