- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2014

An Australian surfing magazine is receiving a wave of criticism after a journalist described an indigenous surfer he was interviewing as “apeish.”

Surfing Life writer Nathan Myers was working on a story about Otis Carey, a 23-year-old free surfer from Narabeen whose mother is of Aboriginal heritage.

“With his apeish face and cowering hair-curtains, I expect little more than Cro-Magnon grunts from his mouth. I am caught off guard by the clarity and eloquence of his speech,” Mr. Myers wrote in the magazine’s March issue.

Social media exploded against the magazine’s editors, calling them “vile” and “racist,” and the backlash continued even after the magazine issued an apology on Wednesday.

“Upon the original edit of the magazine, we read the offending term as a jibe at the stereotypical surfer — and failed to see the racist connotations,” Surfing Life wrote in a statement. “Immediately upon being made aware of these, we offered our unreserved apologies, which they were gracious enough to receive.”

“On a personal note, our Editor Wade Davis is a man of colour whose maternal family immigrated to Australia from Africa,” the statement continued. “Davis is devastated that a thoughtless misread could have allowed an insensitive and damaging term to have slipped through to publication.”

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