The Sunday Times has sacked writer Kevin Myers for a column slammed as sexist and anti-Semitic.
The piece, printed in the Sunday Times Ireland and published on the Times’ website, has now been deleted following a huge backlash.
In the widely-condemned column titled “Sorry ladies - equal pay has to be earned”, Kevin Myers criticised “the tiresome monotone consensus of the commentariat, all wailing and shrieking as one about how hard done by are the women of the BBC”.
He then went on to single out two Jewish BBC presenters, saying: “I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC - Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, staring work I am tragically unacquainted - are Jewish.
“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? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace.”
The column was slammed online...
The newspaper apologised for the article on Sunday morning.
The Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens said: “The comments in a column by Kevin Myers in today’s Irish edition of The Sunday Times were unacceptable and should not have been published.
“It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise both for the remarks and the error of judgement that led to publication.”
The newspaper later added: “Further to our earlier statement we can confirm that Kevin Myers will not write again for the Sunday Times Ireland.
“A printed apology will appear in next week’s paper. The Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens has also apologised personally to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz for these unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace.”
Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of The Sunday Times Ireland, said: “On behalf of The Sunday Times I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused by comments in a column written by Kevin Myers and published today in the Ireland edition of The Sunday Times.
“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.”
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This was an utterly vile column which deployed well-worn antisemitic tropes about Jews. The fulsome apologies from the editorial team at the Sunday Times are welcome, but Kevin Myers is a serial offender who should never have been given an inch of column space in the first place. This must be the end of Kevin Myers’ notorious journalistic career and News UK must now confirm that they will never again allow him to write for any of their titles.”
The group has made an official complaint to IPSO.
Myers has previously faced criticism for claiming “There was no holocaust” in a Belfast Telegraph column, as well as publishing a column titled “Africa is giving nothing to anyone – apart from AIDS” in the Irish Independent.