The Sun, Britain’s top-selling newspaper, has scrapped Page 3’s topless women after 44 years, delighting the legion of critics who have branded the photos of bare-breasted models sexist, offensive and anachronistic.
Insiders said the decision has been taken to kill off the controversial feature quietly but that the feature would continue online. “This comes from high up, from New York,” said one senior executive in a reference to the paper’s owner Rupert Murdoch.
The Sun refused to respond to any calls, emails or texts from the Guardian throughout Monday but told the Times, which is also owned by Murdoch: “Page 3 of The Sun is where it’s always been, between pages 2 and 4, and you can find Lucy from Warwick at Page3.com. “
A savvy business decision, or a bow to the booboisie? A bow to crazed feminists and angry Muslims (strange bedfellows indeed)? Luckily, the paper has left itself an out-clause should the need arise:
The change may be reversed, it is understood, if it results in a noticeable Sun sales decline. Publisher News UK has previously publicly argued, in the face of mounting opposition from critics including the No More Page 3 campaign, that the feature remains popular with its readers and those who want rid of it do not buy the paper.
Fortunately for fans of the female form, the feature remains on line, and you can have a gander here.
Let’s ask the late Howard Hughes what he thinks: