Argentinian publication El Guardián finally fired Juan Terranova, a journalist who threatened to rape an activist in his newspaper column. In a piece published in March, Terranova targeted Inti Maria Tidball-Binz, the founder of Hollaback, an international organisation aimed at ending street harassment. He disparaged Tidball-Binz’s movement arguing that street harassment is OK.
His argument was offensive enough, but his threat was way worse. In a piece on Hollaback’s website, managing editor Emily May writes:
On Saturday morning, March 6th, 2011, an email went out over our listserve from Inti Maria, our site leader in Buenos Aires. It read, “‘I’d like to see her to tell her I would break her arsehole with my cock’ This is what a JOURNALIST wrote about me today — on the printed page they changed it but he made a POINT of including his original version on his blog.” The changed version wasn’t much better. It read, “break her argument with my cock.”
Tears immediately welled into my eyes. Hollaback/Atrevete Buenos Aires launched only a month ago. I knew our work was controversial, but I never thought it would lead to a public rape threat from a prominent journalist and professor. This wasn’t just an arsehole. This was an arsehole with a mouthpiece.
El Guardián initially refused to publish an apology and fire Terranova. The activists decided to target the magazine’s revenue. They launched a petition on Change.org and pressured the magazine’s biggest advertisers, Fiat and Lacoste. Both companies cut ties with the magazine and Lacoste released a statement saying, “our brand has suffered from being associated to comments we disapprove of.”
With its revenue gone El Guardián issued an official apology, as did Terranova whose column was also cancelled. In his apology published on Hollaback’s website Terranova wrote:
“Hollaback is a powerful organisation, influential and organised, and I am sure they will get what they want.”
With that begrudging apology, Terranova looks to be the star of a reality show. Well that showed him.