The Sunday Times has apologised for publishing an anti-Semitic and sexist column about the BBC pay controversy.
Earlier this month, the BBC released a list of its top earners. We learned that the corporation pays 96 stars an annual salary of £150,000 or more - but just 34 of them are women. Nearly 50 of the corporation's female presenters have since written to the BBC's director-general, Lord Hall, to urge him to "correct the disparity."
In a column titled, "Sorry ladies - equal pay has to be earned" - yes, really - writer Kevin Myers decided to underline the fact that two of the BBC's highest-paid female stars, Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, happen to be Jewish. He then chose to perpetuate an offensive stereotype.
"I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC - Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted - are Jewish. Good for them," he wrote. "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."
He also tried to argue that women could get paid less because men "work harder, get sick less frequently, and seldom get pregnant."
Myers' column, which was published in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times and on The Sunday Times' website, has been widely (and rightly) condemned this morning. The Guardian's Marina Hyde noted that Myers' article was published even though Winkleman is a fellow Sunday Times columnist.
The column has since been removed from The Sunday Times' website. The newspaper's editor Martin Ivens told the BBC: "The comments in a column by Kevin Myers in today's Irish edition of The Sunday Times were unacceptable and should not have been published. It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise both for the remarks and the error of judgement that led to publication."
The BBC reports that Myers has also been criticised in the past for writing a 2009 column for a different newspaper in which he argued that there "was no Holocaust."