NEWS
09/20/2018 09:41 EDT | Updated 09/20/2018 17:44 EDT

Ian Buruma, Ex-Editor Says He Stands By Decision To Publish Jian Ghomeshi Essay

He admits he didn't gauge the forces of the #MeToo movement.

Toronto Star via Getty Images
Jian Ghomeshi and his lawyer Marie Henein arrive at Old City Hall court.

A former editor at the New York Review of Books says he stands by his decision to publish a controversial essay written by disgraced former radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

Ian Buruma has told Vrij Nederland, a Dutch magazine, that it is ironic that he has lost his job after publishing a theme issue about #MeToo offenders who had been convicted on social media, but not in court.

Ghomeshi was acquitted in March 2016 of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking involving three women and later signed a peace bond after apologizing to a fourth woman that saw another count of sexual assault withdrawn.

Last week, the magazine published Ghomeshi's essay, titled "Reflections from a Hashtag," where he wrote he had "deep remorse" for the way he treated people, but said the accusations from the women were inaccurate.

The essay sparked an online backlash who said the former CBC radio host should not have been given such a prestigious platform to write an unchallenged first-person piece.

Buruma says he was not fired from the prestigious literary magazine, but felt forced to resign after it became clear that university publishers who advertise in the Review of Books were threatening a boycott.

He admits he didn't gauge the forces of the #MeToo movement.

"I still stand behind my decision to publish," Buruma, 66, says now. "I expected that there would (be) intense reactions, but I hoped that it would open a discussion about what to do with people who behaved badly, but who were acquitted in a court of law."