MASSIVE magazine editor Carwyn Walsh has dismissed an open letter he received from staff and students of Massey University, expressing concerns about the cover of the magazine’s second issue.
The cover depicted a student in what many perceived to be a compromising and subjugated sexual position.
The signatories of the letter wanted to make clear to the editor that “MASSIVE magazine does not speak for us.”
The letter stated, “items that cause harm to anyone in our community do not reflect our view of the world nor the values we strive to uphold,” adding that “it is widely understood that there is not a general climate of tacit acceptance of either gender violence or racial mockery on our campuses.”
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Walsh responded saying he did “not accept that we have published material that—tacitly or otherwise—accepts gender violence or racial mockery.”
Tertiary Women New Zealand’s Rights Officer Izzy O’Neill said the response “reinforces many people’s perception that MASSIVE fosters harmful attitudes.” She added that the letter “signifies the mobilization of a campus community that is concerned about the trend of harmful content in their student magazine.”
Following the publication of issue two, the New Zealand Press Council ruled in favour of MASSIVE, with none of the members seeing the cover as depicting sexual assault.