Editor Defends Decision To Publish Controversial Jian Ghomeshi Essay, And Twitter Reacts

The Friday publication of an essay written by Jian Ghomeshi for the New York Review of Books resulted in instant backlash, with critics slamming the piece for allowing the former CBC personality to gloss over the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by multiple women.

Now, an interview with the publication’s editor is creating even more controversy, with New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma getting slammed on social media for defending his decision to publish Ghomeshi’s piece.

In his essay, Ghomeshi writes that he’s attempting to “inject nuance” into his story, complaining he has suffered “enough humiliation for a lifetime” and has been the victim of “mass shaming.” However, numerous people have slammed Ghomeshi for what they see as an attempt to gloss over the allegations of more than 20 women, including such violent acts as punching and choking.

RELATED: Twitter Claps Back After Jian Ghomeshi Writes Essay About Being A Celebrity ‘Outcast’ Following Sex Crimes Trial

Slate writer Isaac Chotiner spoke with Buruma to find out his rationale behind giving Ghomeshi a forum to present his side of the story while conveniently leaving out some key details.

Buruma didn’t win any points with his critics when he downplayed allegations of violence against Ghomeshi. “Those are the allegations, but as we both know, sexual behaviour is a many-faceted business,” said Buruma. “Take something like biting. Biting can be an aggressive or even criminal act. It can also be construed differently in different circumstances.”

Chotiner also challenged Buruma with Ghomeshi’s assertion that he was fired from his CBC job “after allegations circulated online that I’d been abusive with an ex-girlfriend during sex,” conveniently not mentioning that the Toronto Star was about to publish an expose based on interviews with numerous accusers — a far different scenario than online rumours.

RELATED: Jian Ghomeshi Announces A New Project And People Are Not Impressed

“Not really, but again, I am not judging him for the exact rights and wrongs of what he did in the past,” Buruma responded before he’s asked about Ghomeshi’s statement that he was accused by “several” women, which seems to downplay the fact there were more than 20 accusers; Buruma conceded that “it might have been better to mention the exact number, possibly so.”

One response in particular really rubbed people the wrong way: when Buruma seemingly questioned the veracity of Ghomeshi’s numerous accusers. “I am not going to defend his behaviour, and I don’t know if what all these women are saying is true,” said Buruma. “Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn’t.”

Buruma’s comments were met with some scathing responses on social media:

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