Madrid culture chief resigns after 48 hours over offensive tweets

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GUILLERMO ZAPATA, in a bid for the shortest culture chief appointment in history, resigned from his new position in the Madrid City Council after outrage over offensive Twitter posts. His resignation was accepted by the newly elected mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena on Monday.
Zapata, who was set to assume responsibilities as Madrid’s culture and sports councillor, tweeted jokes in 2011 making light of the Holocaust and victims of ETA terrorism. Zapata publicly apologised for his remarks before resigning but insists that the comments were taken out of context. He claims that the posts were written during a debate on the limits of humour.
Some of his tweets definitely push the limits of humour, like the following anti-Semitic joke he posted: “How would you fit five million Jews into a Fiat 600? Answer: in the ashtray.” On another instance, he joked about the State of Israel, saying: “We don’t know why it needs so much space, if each person just takes up a pile of ash.”
Zapata, who was quick to apologise and resign as well as close his Twitter account, continues to defend his position and his right to use black humour as part of his freedom of speech.
“I think that humour has an enormous potential to heal wounds, but also to hurt,” said Zapata. “And if you do something that hurts someone else, you must apologise for it, even if it falls within the bounds of your freedom of expression.”


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