Esquire apologizes 'to anyone offended by our attempt at humor'

Esquire | Salon

An "update" perches atop Mick Stingley's Jan. 20 post in Esquire called "A Straight Man's Guide to HBO's Looking":

UPDATE: We apologize to anyone offended by our attempt at humor in this piece. It reflects one man's viewing experience. He does not think all gay people are boring. Just this show, a little.

Stingley's post says the show is a "Hollywood portrayal of gay life as normal, tedious, and bland" that "Makes straight guys seem together and interesting by comparison, though." It continues:

And if this show really takes off, prepare yourselves for a world of boring gay men who blend in and will probably talk to you about last night's game and drink bourbon. Good news for fans of Coldplay, though: The 40-Year-Old Virgin stigma will soon be replaced by Looking. You know how I know you're gay? You're boring.

Stingley's "attempt at humor" is "deeply typical of the sort of work produced by straight men who walk into unfamiliar rooms and, rather than listening and seeking to learn, reframe the entire conversation around their own experience and limited worldview," Daniel D'Addario writes in Salon.

Still, the "update" apology is better than the type Esquire usually manages. Last September, for instance, after Esquire ran Richard Drew’s famous photo of a man falling from a World Trade Center tower on Sept. 11, 2001 next to the headline "Making Your Morning Commute More Stylish, "it told people who were offended, "Relax, everybody."

And Esquire had to correct a piece laying into a critic of one story after it turned out she was correct about some information missing from the online version of the piece. The apology was somewhat less than full-throated.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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