The journalist who lost his job with the Asbury Park Press after posting an offensive caption last month has offered a full apology.
Gustavo Martinez Contreras had added a caption to a photograph of an Orthodox Jewish nurse preparing to administer a COVID-19 vaccination that called her “a fucking hot nurse, a total JAP.”
Paul D’Ambrosio, the newspaper’s executive editor, said the caption was written by “a reporter who admitted that he did a ‘stupid, stupid thing,” but had not named the employee. He did say that the person, identified by the New Jersey Globe as Martinez, had been fired.
Going forward, D’Ambrosio said, “no photo and caption will be published without another staffer looking it over, regardless of the time of day.”
The Asbury Park Press has been heavily criticized by political leaders from both parties, and the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution condemning the newspaper and pulling it’s lucrative legal advertising.
The newspaper has not covered any of the criticism leveled at it and has not printed Martinez’s apology.
His full response:
Please accept my most heartfelt apologies.
The caption in the photograph that ran March 21 was inexcusable and offensive. My words have hurt women, the Jewish community, CHEMED and the Asbury Park Press.
To the nursing staff at CHEMED, I’m sorry. Your work, especially during this pandemic, has been heroic and you deserve to be respected.
To the people at CHEMED and the rest of the Jewish community who have opened their doors to me, please accept my apologies.
I have also let down my colleagues, especially my female coworkers. I am sorry for what I’ve done.
I also want to apologize to the Asbury Park Press, an institution that gave me an opportunity to do great work. I am sorry that I made this foolish error.
I’ve prided myself as a man who has been an advocate and supporter of women’s rights and cultural sensitivity, but this caption shows that I have plenty of work to do to address my own issues to make sure that my words and actions always treat others with respect.
I want to thank my friends in the Jewish community who have reached out to ask about my wellbeing and have taken the time to offer me perspective to fully comprehend the magnitude of my mistake. I am sorry that I have disappointed you.
I understand that this letter won’t fix things, but please know that I am deeply sorry for the pain that I’ve caused.