The Calgary Sun has issued an apology to Health Minister Sarah Hoffman after an ill-worded headline appeared to poke fun at her weight.
The headline “Wait Watchers” was printed in the newspaper on Wednesday, along with a photo of Hoffman’s face and a pull quote that read, “Overall, the big-picture strategy is still a work in progress.”
Some took to social media to express their outrage over what appeared to be a case of fat-shaming. Some felt the headline was a play on words in reference to Weight Watchers, a company that serves people trying to lose weight.
The article was about wait times for hospital procedures.
On Wednesday night, the Sun came under fire on Twitter as men and women alike asked the paper to issue a retraction and apology.
Hoffman’s office told Global News the Calgary Sun’s editor, Jose Rodriguez, called the minister Thursday morning and apologized. Hoffman accepted the apology.
On Thursday afternoon, Rodriguez shared his thoughts on the headline on the Sun’s website.
It reads, in part: “It was an attempt to be clever that failed. Unintentional, but hurtful nonetheless… Some concluded the ‘Wait Watchers’ headline was a direct comment on the cabinet minister. That it was purposely crafted to bring her shame and ridicule. I assure you, that was not the intent.”
“I spoke with the minister in question Thursday,” it goes on to say. “She was gracious in accepting my apology and said she believed me when I told her there was no ill intent… We can’t unring the bell. But can we learn something from this? Absolutely.”
Rodriguez declined an interview with Global News.