Following severe backlash after an article was written about a New York media executive being blackmailed by a male escort, several of Gawker’s top team-members have officially resigned.
The resignations were reported earlier today (Monday) just a few days after the popular site removed a short article about a local New York media executive and his proposition with a NYC escort.
The article that Gawker published on Thursday involved a male escort that was attempting to blackmail the executive into leveraging political connections to end a dispute that the escort was having with his landlord.
The internet erupted into an outrage both on the comment section of the site and on social-media. This caused the upper-management of the site to remove the article, even though the editorial-side of Gawker wanted the article to remain published.
It was Gawker’s Media Executive Editor Tommy Craggs and Gawker.com editor-in-chief Max Read that both resigned from their positions. Both members pointed to the removal of the story in their statements.
“This was not an easy decision. I hope the partnership group recognizes the degree to which it has betrayed the trust of editorial, and takes steps to materially reinforce its independence,” Read wrote in the memo posted on Gawker Monday. The founder of Gawker, Nick Denton, said that the managing partners of the company voted 4 to 2 to remove the story.
“Gawker is no longer the insolent blog that began in 2003. It does important and interesting journalism about politicians, celebrities and other major public figures … It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement,” Denton wrote in the same statement.
“If the partnership had not conducted some kind of utterly opaque backroom vote to delete it—if we had simply posted Nick’s note, as much I disagreed with and disliked it—I think this Monday would be very different,” he stated.