Maxim Barashenkov and Montle Moorosi are no longer under the employ of men’s magazine FHM. The events which led to the pair’s dismissal began on Tuesday on a social network platform. On his personal Facebook page, Barashenkov updated: “I propose correctional rape and sterilization for any white person who twerks.” His colleague Montle Moorosi joined the discussion and added: “I think rape can be quite fun if executed in a romantic manner. Like saying ‘I love you’ before you slip a roofie [sedative] in her Earl Grey tea.”
Brendan Cooper, FHM Editor, said that the magazine management team was “horrified” when they saw the comments. Cooper distanced the publication from the utterances of the two staff members. He expressed his disappointment: “The opinions expressed are hurtful and deeply offensive and entirely unacceptable to FHM’s management.” Using the magazine’s website, FHM announced the dismissal of Maxim Barashenkov and Montle Moorosi with immediate effect as of Friday 19 July. The dismissal came after a disciplinary hearing that was held earlier on the same day.
Upon seeing the stormy reactions on social media, the pair decided to join the open letter bandwagon and apologize to South Africa. The launch piece on their blog on Thursday begins with an apology in the first paragraph and is followed by what seems to be an explanation as to why the problem lies with the rest of the country and not with the two writers who were simply enjoying a “private” conversation about correctional rape on Facebook. The writers asked: “While the Facebook comments in question were indeed insensitive and misguided, there is one thing that we do want to ask you, the zealous and public crusaders for justice: how violently did you tweet and scream and rage when actual rape cases happened?”
If the apology was meant to inspire compassion and reconciliation, it did not succeed with readers like Adi Louw who posted this comment: “This is the worst apology I have ever read. I feel physically sick now.” However, there were others who were supportive of the controversial “jokers”. Biobot simply said: “I forgive you.” FHM was not impressed and despite the questionable apology, Maxim Barashenkov and Montle Moorosi are without employment at the publication.