By Nadeska Alexis
Bloggers–sure, myself included–had a bit of fun with Kanye West’s Wednesday night Twitter spree, but one writer at Gawker was fired for his coverage of the posts, after using a racial term that readers found to be inappropriate. Blogger Seth Abramovitch used the n-word in his report while (incorrectly) trying to explain what Kanye’s new company DONDA meant. The offending line—“And what is DONDA? It’s an acronym for Dis Original N—a Dresses Aight”—was originally published without the censored word.
Abramovitch later apologized for the post, when he realized the mistake, writing, “DONDA is actually the name of Kanye’s deceased mother, not the acronym above, which was meant to be the kind of thing Kanye would make up in a late-night creative writing fit, but has offended many people. So sorry, to everyone who was offended, and for the confusion. Sorries all around!”
Still, Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio made the decision to terminate Seth Abramovitch, telling TheWrap, “I thought it was a half-assed apology. I basically do not want people working for the site who do not care. I had a conversation with Seth and he told me he really didn’t care.”
Abramovitch disputed Daulerio’s claim that he simply brushed off the incident, in an email to TheWrap. “My apology was completely sincere. After waking up to the vitriol over the post, I looked at the post again and agreed it featured a dumb joke using an offensive term, and that my attempt at edgy humor fell flat,” he wrote. “I conferred with my coworkers (Daulerio was unavailable) and they concurred. I wanted it to be clear and concise, and I ran it by the Gawker team to make sure it was sufficient. The consensus was that it was. It was most certainly sincere, and I have no clue why AJ would say I said otherwise. Ironically, it was the very fact that I posted an apology, and didn’t stand by my work, that AJ initially cited as the reason for my firing.”