Writer and academic steps down following the publication of and protecting Jian Ghomeshi piece deemed to be at odds with spirit of #MeToo
Ian Buruma, the writer and academic, has stepped down from the editorship of the New York Review of Books after merely 16 months, after he motived cruelty by publishing and defending an essay widely deemed to be at odds with the minds of the #MeToo.
The departure of Buruma, merely the third editor after Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein since the publication was set up in 1963, comes as a setback so soon after “hes taking” over the helm of Americas most prestigious literary journal.
It followed a heave dispute that gained impetu on social media over his decision to publish a highly contentious paper by the onetime Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi.
Buruma produced the 3, 400 -word paper under the claim Thinkings from a Hashtag in the 11 October edition of the magazine.
In it, Ghomeshi was given the platform to repeat his claim that accusations against him made by more than 20 females that he reportedly mistreated them with swipes, perforates, pierces and strangling were inaccurate.
Ghomeshi was acquitted in March 2016 of four counts of sexual abuse and one of choking concerning three women. In the essay, he described himself as a scapegoat of mass shaming and said he had digested enough dishonour for a lifetime.
He wrote: Even as I feel penetrating regret about how I plowed some people in “peoples lives”, I cannot confess to the accusations that are inaccurate. What I do profess is that I was emotionally thoughtless.
The publication of the essay, which was heatedly debated within the NYRBs tiny unit of editors, precipitated a cyclone at the end of the debates about the fullest extent to which men who had been the subject of #MeToo accusations of improper or abusive sexual conduct should be allowed to rehabilitate themselves into society. It also caused eyebrows about Burumas editorial judgment.
Buruma contributed fuel to the shoot when last week he threw an interview to Isaac Chotiner of Slate in which he clumsily sought to justify the decision to publish. Though he admired the #MeToo gesture, that has put the spotlight on the sex misconduct of powerful souls, as a required remedy on male behavior, he said: Like all well-intentioned and good things, there are still unattractive consequences.
He went on to lament a general environment of accusation and was of the view that in the case of Ghomeshi there had been undesirable, or at least unresolved, sides to it.
Asked to comment on the numerous allegations of sexual abuse by Ghomeshi including swiping women working in the manager Buruma replied: The accurate nature of his action how much consent was committed I have no plan , nor is it really my concern.
The interview led to a further explosion of judgment. Lydia Polgreen, editor-in-chief of HuffPost, tweeted: The Ian Buruma interview[ was] even more antagonizing than the Ghomeshi piece itself.
Buruma, 66, has written often for the Guardian. He is author of various works including Slaughter in Amsterdam: the Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance and is prof of republic and human rights at Bard College in New York state.
A statement from the NYRB, which is published by Rea Hederman, who bought it in 1984, was expected later on Wednesday.