Montreal newspaper apologises for including N-word in crossword - GulfToday

Montreal newspaper apologises for including N-word in crossword


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Gulf Today Report

Who doesn’t love crosswords? Every clue is a challenge, which calls for summoning all the knowledge that you have from the innermost recesses of the mind. Knowledge that is all-encompassing, that includes virtually every field, be it history, geography, current events and past, celebrities, etc. The person filling in the crossword must have also have a sound grasp of the English language.

Many do it as a pastime. And once the crossword is complete, the delight on the face of the puzzle solver is all too tangible.]

However, there are some shockers sometimes. Which happened with a Montreal-based newspaper.

Montreal’s Métro Média said sorry for including the N-word in a French-language crossword in the community newspaper Le Plateau.

“We recently published a crossword containing an expression that could be hurtful to our readers, particularly those from the Black community,” Métro Média said in statement posted on Facebook, according to a report on the website of a well-known Canadian newspaper.

The clue was “Person of the Black race (pl).” The answer was the feminine-plural version of the N-word.

“This word published in the Plateau weekly in no way reflects the values of inclusion and respect that are essential to the mission of Métro Média,” the statement continued. “The crossword generated by a content creator was pulled from a bank of crosswords and published without being revised by our editing staff.”

Though insisting it was an unfortunate mistake, Métro Média acknowledged that the paper is responsible for all the content published within its pages. The weekly publication apologised to all those who may have been offended by the crossword, and made a commitment to review its procedures so that such a mistake does not happen again.

Perhaps predictably, the apology on Facebook drew a flurry of comments: some mocking people for being offended by a crossword, and others put off or dismayed by the racist attitudes revealed in such comments.

The incident is the latest development in an ongoing debate around the use of the N-word in Quebec. The issue resurfaced in October, following the University of Ottawa’s decision to temporarily suspend a professor who used the N-word in class.

Some decried the uproar as an attack on academic freedom, while others questioned the lack of Black voices in the debate.

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