UK

Attitude Magazine slammed over jokes about Parkland School shooting

Meka Beresford February 24, 2018
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(Twitter)

Attitude Magazine has been slammed after it tweeted a joke that alluded to the Parkland School shooting.

The LGBTQ magazine tweeted a picture of its front cover to President Trump.

They wrote alongside the picture: “Just to be clear @realDonaldTrump – these are the only guns you should see in a classroom…”

The joke was immediately slammed by followers.

(Twitter)

Related: Emma Gonzalez, head of Gay-Straight Alliance who survived Parkland shooting, takes on NRA spokeswoman

One person wrote: “Wow Attitude. Way to exploit a major tragedy and the current gun control debate to sell your rag and keep your advertisers happy. Get in the bin.”

“Jesus Christ, this is terrible,” wrote former journalist Keith Andrew.

Andrew was then blocked by the Attitude account.

He later added: “This has genuinely depressed me. @AttitudeMag was the first gay magazine I ever bought.

Users were blocked by Attitude’s account if they tweeted criticisms

Related: Orlando massacre survivor tears into Republican politicians at Parkland protest

“It was a genuinely forward thinking, progressive publication back then.

“Now it makes cheap shots following school shootings and blocks anyone who challenges it.”

Others who criticised the magazine say they were also blocked from seeing their tweets.

User @strutcakes wrote “Wow. Just wow. Your response to Trump and the shooting of 17 innocent children is a half naked man?? You should be ashamed of your tweet.”

The editor tweeted an explanation (Twitter)

Related: Parkland shooting survivor condemns inaction of pro-gun Republicans who ‘march for hours over a rainbow wedding cake’

He was then blocked by the magazine.

“So if you criticise @AttitudeMag for its distasteful tweets… their response is to block you. Disgraceful,” he added.

Editor-in-Chief of Attitude, Matt Cain, later apologised to those who were blocked and made sure they were unblocked.

Cliff Joannou, the editor of the magazine, has since clarified that the tweets came from a member of staff who was not senior.

“It was posted by a member of staff and has since been deleted by a senior member of the digital team. It’s certainly not reflective of wider editorial policy,” he wrote.

Users have since been unblocked and the initial tweet has been deleted.

Darren Styles, a spokesperson for Attitude, said that they were “sorry for the post in question”.

“The last thing anybody at Attitude seeks to do is cause offence or conflict – plenty enough of that rains on the LGBT+ community as it is.

“A member of our digital team, incensed by overnight reporting of President Trump’s insane suggestion that schoolteachers should be armed, sought to dismiss the proposition by ridiculing the President with some wordplay and a cover dating back several years featuring a well-known teacher and friend of Attitude, Pietro Boselli.

“The understandable anger we all feel at the recklessness of the man in the White House, allied to the helplessness as we watch, can cloud judgement (just ask Kathy Griffin) – and on this occasion the emotion of the moment and a desire to strike back has led to a post that has caused offence to a number of people.

“We apologise unreservedly for that. It’s not something most of us would have written, and we deeply regret any hurt that has been caused.

“In calmer times I do believe the lack of malice would be obvious – the target is evidently President Trump – and thousands of readers this morning did understand and react positively to that. Some respondents, conversely, crossed a line in terms of language we are prepared to leave online, which inflamed the situation further.

“But the young and politically engaged aren’t always as mindful as we’d want them to be around wider sensitivities, and – as I say – it is an error of judgement.

“Our Editors have apologised unreservedly, as do I, and a number of early respondents have been gracious enough to accept those apologies and engage constructively. I believe the premise was widely understood, even if the execution wasn’t appreciated. The tweet has long been deleted.”

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