On April Fool’s Day, the Maneater, the student paper at Mizzou, flew a flag that read “The Carpeteater.”
That, of course, is a derogatory term for lesbians. The paper’s managing editor, Abby Spudich, apologized, saying
I truly did not know that “carpet eater” is a derogatory term used for a lesbian. Had I known, I would never have even considered using it. I chose the masthead because I thought the pairing of the play on words of “The Maneater” with the sexual innuendo of that term could be funny. I realized there was a sexual connotation in this term, but I did not realize it was derogatory toward the LGBTQ community. Not knowing is not an excuse, however, and I’m sure that if I had brought this to every member of the 24-person editorial board, and made sure that every single person had read it, someone would have known this was a slur. Unfortunately, I did not do this, and my ignorance has harmed other people. I could not be more sorry about this. I’d also like to note that the negative connotation that masthead carries does not reflect the opinion of the editorial board.
Next year’s April Fool’s Day edition has already been canceled, and on Wednesday, Spudich resigned.
I regret deeply the harm I have caused through the publication of the April Fool’s edition; this was never my intention. As an individual, I still plan on engaging with the diversity programs and resources available on campus to continue my own growth as a journalist and as a human being.
Editor-in-chief Travis Cornejo also resigned.
Perhaps college papers should do away with April Fool’s Day editions all together. In Boston, the BU paper took flack for publishing a paper that critics say glorifies rape.