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The Sunday Times has apologised after a furious backlash against “anti-Semitic” comments contained in an article about women’s pay.
In a column titled “Sorry ladies – equal pay has to be earned”, Irish journalist Kevin Myers remarked that some of the BBC‘s best-paid women had Jewish roots.
He wrote: “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.
He went on: “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.”
The article, which appeared in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times, had been removed from the newspaper’s website by mid-morning on Sunday.
Twitter users slammed Mr Myers’s column as anti-Semitic.
“This is utterly disgusting,” wrote one.
“Kevin Myers (writer) must be sacked. Any editors who let this get through must be investigated and asked how this was published. Disgrace,” wrote another.
“Shame on @thesundaytimes for this vile anti Semitic rant,” wrote another.
Mr Myers also commented in the controversial article that men were “possibly” more charismatic, hard-working and driven than their female counterparts.
He wrote: “Only one woman is among the top 10 best-paid BBC presenters. Now, why is this?
“Is it because men are more charismatic performers? Because they work harder? Because they are more driven? Possibly a bit of each.”
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.”
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.”
Kevin Myers, who has written for the Belfast Telegraph and Irish Times among others, has previously come under fire for an article entitled “Africa is giving nothing to anyone – apart from AIDS”, as well as comments that there “was no Holocaust”.
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