Daily Free Press: BU student paper under fire for crude content

Some students didn't think an April Fool's Day edition of the student-run Daily Free Press was very funny. Others are calling for the editors to resign after making jokes about rape on campus using Disney characters.

Some students on Boston University’s campus are calling for the resignation of the editors of the “Daily Free Press” newspaper after an “April Fool’s Day” issue featured articles about Disney characters being “roofied” and “gang-banged” and depicted others as prostitutes.

The paper, which created a “Disney Free Press” mock-issue, said it was sorry via Twitter on Monday.

“We know that an apology doesn’t make up for the callous decisions we made but please look out for a letter from the editors in tomorrow’s issue,” the Tweet read.

None of the content was found online.

The Daily Free Press is an independent student newspaper on Boston University’s campus.

The paper’s editor issued an official apology online that some readers called “too little, too late.”

    To the Boston community and whomever else it may concern,

    We at The Daily Free Press want to apologize for the callous and ignorant stories we ran in our annual print-only April Fools’ Day issue on Monday, April 2. Our aim was to publish satirical material about Boston University as a whole, and we did not intend to perpetuate harmful stereotypes or inappropriately make light of serious issues.

    Simply put, we should have exercised caution. Our decisions were juvenile and insensitive. We deeply regret our heartless behavior and did not mean to personally offend anyone.

    We did not mean to single out or offend any specific organizations that work to improve the BU community, nor to intentionally propagate any misconceptions about BU students or the university. Rather, our intention was to produce material that would be seen as ridiculous and fictitious.

    However, we understand that these serious issues should not have been characterized as joking matters.

    The BU community has been making great strides to raise awareness about rape culture and prevent sexual assault on and off campus. A number of organizations, including the Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism, Student Union and Greek Life, have worked tirelessly this semester to build a safer community. It was inexcusable of us to publish this issue and set back the progress these organizations have accomplished.

    We want to stress that all of the ill-conceived jokes in Monday’s issue in no way represent the true values of The Daily Free Press or any of its staff members. While we do not support any of the stereotypes that we wrongly spread in the issue, we know that by publishing the material we inadvertently proliferated them. We know that even though the stories were meant to be jokes, simply writing them perpetuated rape culture.
    We thank our readers as ever for their passionate input. We aim to learn from our mistakes and to move forward, continuing to strive to serve as the independent student voice of the university in a rigorously balanced and sensitive manner.

    Sincerely,

    Chelsea Diana
    Editor-in-Chief

Here are some Twitter reactions from people about the April 1 “joke” edition of the paper circulating on campus.

[View the story "BU newspaper apologizes for offensive April Fool's Day edition" on Storify]


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