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New York (CNN Business)The Washington Post has suspended reporter David Weigel without pay for retweeting a sexist joke, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on Monday.
Weigel did not respond to a request for comment, but an out-of-office email said that he would return on July 5.
A spokesperson for The Post declined to comment, citing a need for privacy regarding personnel matters.
Weigel on Friday retweeted YouTuber Cam Harless who joked, “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.”
Weigel removed the retweet and apologized, saying he “did not mean to cause any harm.”
But the matter prompted outcry from staffers, both inside and outside of the newsroom.
Weigel’s retweet was spotlighted publicly by his colleague, Felicia Sonmez, who recently had a discrimination lawsuit against the paper dismissed, a decision her attorney has said she plans to appeal.
Sonmez sarcastically wrote on Twitter that it is “fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed.”
Sonmez, according to messages obtained by CNN, also confronted Weigel in an internal company Slack channel, tagging him and writing, “I’m sorry but what is this?” Sonmez said in the Slack channel that the retweet sent “a confusing message about what the Post’s values are.”
Others joined the discussion in the Slack channel, ultimately resulting in national editor Matea Gold writing, “I just want to assure all of you that The Post is committed to maintaining a respectful workplace for everyone. We do not tolerate demeaning language or actions.”
The Post’s chief spokesperson, Kris Coratti, also issued a statement that said, “Editors have made clear to the staff that the tweet was reprehensible and demeaning language or actions like that will not be tolerated.”
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