Nick Denton Regrets Gawker Gay Porn Star Fiasco: ‘I’ve Wanted a Gentler Gawker for a While’

“It’s regrettable what has happened,” site founder says

Nick Denton spoke out about the controversy swirling around Gawker after it published a story about a Conde Nast executive’s intended weekend romp with a gay porn star–and the future of the site he founded.

“It’s regrettable what has happened,” Denton told The Wall Street Journal in a piece published Tuesday. “But hopefully it will allow us to have a proper discussion about what Gawker should be in the future. I’ve wanted a gentler Gawker for a while.”

He also said he’s concerned that the blowback from the story will have a direct impact on the site’s defense case against Hulk Hogan, a concern Denton hasn’t hidden to staffers during an all-hands-on-deck editorial meeting Tuesday.

Denton hopes Gawker can evolve to become a “guide to culture and for looking at the world by critiquing the way media presents it.”

“We’ve been through a lot of drama before,” he continued, citing controversial stories like its leaked prototype of the iPhone 4, a Scientology video starring Tom Cruise and a story about former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack.

Many of Denton’s Gawker’s current employees have been openly mocking him on social media in the last few days, calling him out for perceived hypocrisy in the areas of editorial freedom and being a renegade truth teller.

“I can’t see how we can continue to work together without some greater formalization between the business and editorial side” -nick GREAT!” features editor Leah Finnegan tweeted Tuesday.

Editor-in-Chief Max Read and Executive Editor Tommy Craggs resigned Monday in protest of the story being taken down.