Vox Media’s popular food blog Eater.com has reportedly placed an editor on a leave of absence because he participated in New York City’s punk rock skinhead scene in the 1980s.
Restaurant editor Nick Solares will be suspended for at least one week, according to Gawker.
The suspension reportedly starts immediately despite a recent public apology by Solares, which was published on Eater.
“When I was a teenager in NYC in the 1980s, I became involved with the right-wing skinhead scene within the hard punk subculture. I am deeply ashamed by this, and I made the decision decades ago to disassociate myself from far-right politics and fully disavow the bigoted and dehumanizing ideologies they represent,” Solares wrote.
“I am sorry to the people who were the target of my hateful speech then, and its equivalents and legacy today. I am sorry to those that I have hurt — particularly my colleagues at Eater and Vox Media — for putting you in a position to have to confront my shameful past. I’ve spent the past three decades trying to correct for my past beliefs and actions, and I will continue to do that.”
Vox Meda and Solares did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
In the public apology, Solares explained that he “was a British kid who wound up falling in with a group of white-pride American nationalists, and while I was part of this group I believed the hateful things that they believed, and helped spread the message.”
Solares wrote that he is “ashamed” and now “unequivocally” condemns racism, intolerance, and bigotry.
According to Gawker, Solares went by the moniker “English Nick” and was the lead singer of a punk rock band called Youth Defense League, which never had particularly explicit lyrics, but attracted fans who believed in white supremacy.
People who allegedly knew Solares during his “English Nick” time reportedly sent photographs to Eater brass that outlined his skinhead past.
“I’m ashamed by what these materials reveal about my past,” he wrote in the public apology.
Gawker reports Solares’ bosses eventually saw a picture of him with prominent skinhead Mervin Shields from 2012, which contradicts his apology letter claim that he moved on “decades ago.”
Solares issued a statement, in an attempt to clarify the situation.
“The photo in question is from a few years ago at Manitoba’s Bar in NYC and was the first time I had seen Mervin Shields since the 1980’s. Additionally, the photo in question was only something Eater editors and Vox Media became aware of recently. I have long since turned my back on these oppressive views, do not have friends that are still racists or play in racist bands, and have no political affiliations with any hate groups. I remain deeply ashamed of and apologetic for my actions as a teenager and any inferences this photo may lead to,” he wrote to Gawker.