SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The spelling of a reporter's byline in the Christmas edition of the Santa Barbara News-Press has prompted criticism and accusations of homophobia.
In Monday's newspaper, a reporter's name and title were altered in a manner that some readers considered to be homophobic slurs.
Staff writer Paul Gonzalez's story on last-minute Christmas shopping appeared on page A3 of the newspaper. The journalist's last name was spelled "Gayzalez.". The second line was spelled "News Press Faggoat."
When reached by email, Gonzalez replied he didn't submit the story with the spelling which appeared in print. "I would just like to reiterate that I did not make that edit to my byline," he said. Gonzalez declined further comment.
The paper waited until Wednesday to issue a statement regarding the incident, in which they say:
In Monday's News-Press, one of our employees changed another employee's byline to reflect an offensive slur. The News-Press has taken immediate and swift action with this employee; we do not tolerate any form of harassment in the workplace. We apologize to our readers.
The editor's note can be found at the bottom of page A3 of Wednesday's newspaper just above an "Honest Plumber Integrity" ad. Our requests for comment to the News-Press editor have not been returned.
More than a dozen comments about the spelling have appeared on social media, the majority critical of the publication.
"Doesn't look like a misprint to me...this is beyond offensive," wrote Jan Schultz on Facebook.
"This is beyond inappropriate! How does this get past the editor," wrote McKenna Robles.
This story has been updated with the latest information.