The Sunday Times of London has fired journalist Kevin Myers, who penned an op-ed condemning the equal pay campaign by women employees of the British Broadcasting Corporation, after the piece sparked a firestorm of accusations that it was anti-Semitic and misogynistic.
Under the headline “Sorry ladies – equal pay has to be earned”, Myers 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 human resources department — what used to be called “personnel” until people come to be considered as a metabolising, respiring form of mineral ore — will probably tell you that men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.”
Elsewhere he commented:
“I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkelman 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? 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 their marketplace.”
The article was swiftly and widely condemned on social media, including by writer J.K. Rowling, Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, and Buzzfeed UK Editor-in-chief Janine Gibson.
The article has since been removed from the website – shared by the Times of London and the Sunday Times (both part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation) — and apologies were issued by the editor of the Sunday Times, as well as the editor of the paper’s Irish edition, Frank Fitzgibbon. Commenters were quick to note Fitzgibbon failed to directly condemn the misogyny of the piece.