The Sun axes Kelvin MacKenzie after yet more bigoted comments
The Sun’s former editor Kelvin MacKenzie has been axed by the newspaper after another controversy.
The Financial Times report that the ex-Sun editor is “to leave The Sun” after penning a column comparing a footballer to a gorilla.
Mr MacKenzie, who edited the paper between 1981 and 1994, had recently been brought back to the paper to write a regular opinion column.
But he was suspended after he wrote a column comparing Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, whose grandfather was born in Nigeria, to a gorilla.
Mr MacKenzie claimed the Everton player was “thick” and said that when he sees the footballer he gets “a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo”.
He also claimed the only other people with “similar pay packets” in Liverpool were “drug dealers”.
“Kelvin will not be employed by News [UK] for much longer,” the FT quoted one person involved in the talks as saying.
The decision was apparently taken by Rebekah Brooks, who was re-appointed by owner Rupert Murdoch as Chief Exec of News UK after she was acquitted of phone hacking charges.
It’s not the first time the right-wing journalist has caused great offence.
While editor of The Sun, the tabloid regularly published anti-LGBT stories, and propagated fear and ignorance around the HIV AIDS breakout in the 1980s.
Stories published by the newspaper while he was editor included claiming straight people can’t get Aids, writing that Aids is a “gay plague” and calling gay vicars “pulpit poofs”.
The comments were sparked by former Top Gear host Richard Hammond saying that he “doesn’t eat ice cream” and it’s “something to do with being straight”, for which Stonewall spoke out.
In his column MacKenzie accused the group of going after “soft targets” instead of fighting ISIS.
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He wrote: “What concerns me about Stonewall is that they will kick up a fuss about something that doesn’t matter but rarely mention a word about the hostile attitude of Muslims towards homosexuality, which threatens gay communities globally.
“If you look on the Stonewall site you would be hard-pressed to find one word suggesting Islam persecutes gay sexuality.”
MacKenzie added: “During the various ISIS atrocities, Stonewall hardly said a word about gays being thrown off roofs, stoned to death, etc.
“Were they concerned, they would be attacked by their liberal chums for being racist, potentially costing themselves government patronage or subsidy?”
He continued: “It’s time Stonewall did something brave rather than taking on soft targets like Hammond. Imagine the good they could do by really standing up fearlessly for the people they aim to help.”
A spokesperson for Stonewall responded: “By suggesting that we should ‘fight Islam’ Kelvin Mackenzie yet again spreads the false idea that religion and LGBT equality are not compatible.”