Ousted New York Review of Books Editor Speaks Out: ‘Convicted On Twitter’

Ian Buruma faced swift backlash after publishing an essay by #MeToo man Jian Ghomeshi

The New York Review of Books former top editor is speaking out after being ousted from his job for publishing an essay by MeToo man Jian Ghomeshi.

In remarks to the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Ian Buruma says he was the victim of a Twitter mob that punished him without due process.

“It is rather ironic: as editor of The New York Review of Books I published a theme issue about #MeToo-offenders who had not been convicted in a court of law but by social media. And now I myself am publicly pilloried,” he told the publication. “I have now myself been convicted on Twitter, without any due process.”

Buruma did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TheWrap over the issue.

Things began to go south for Buruma after he published the piece by Ghomeshi “Reflections from a Hashtag.” In 2014, the Canadian radio personalty was arrested for several counts of sexual assault, but was never convicted of a crime.

“Several months later, after a very public trial, I was cleared on all counts. One of the charges was separated and later withdrawn with a peace bond-a pledge to be on good behavior for a year. There was no criminal trial,” wrote Ghomeshi. “My acquittal left my accusers and many observers profoundly unhappy.”

However, critics decried the decision to give Ghomeshi a platform. Buruma dug the hole deeper after a widely panned interview with Slate’s Isaac Chotiner in which he equivocated on Ghomeshi’s alleged crimes.

“We both know, sexual behavior is a many-faceted business,” Buruma said at one point. “Take something like biting. Biting can be an aggressive or even criminal act. It can also be construed differently in different circumstances. I am not a judge of exactly what he did.”

Buruma took over the top job at the New York Review of Books May, 2017 — it remains unclear who will replace him. A rep for the magazine declined to comment.