News International Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has hinted that he is considering ending the tradition of printing photographs of topless women on the infamous Page 3 of the Sun, BBC News reported.
Bare-breasted women have appeared daily on the third page of the tabloid newspaper for almost 43 years, drawing criticism from women’s groups who say it is sexist and degrading to women, the Guardian reported.
According to the Guardian:
Members of the campaign group No More Page 3 said it was a sexist relic of an unhealthy 1970s culture that was at odds with the family values promoted by supermarkets.
The group has collected more than 64,310 signatures for a Change.org petition, and has organized weekly protests outside the News International offices, the Guardian said.
Sun editors have claimed Page 3 celebrates British beauty.
"I think it's meant to represent a youth and freshness, and it celebrates natural beauty – we don't have models who have had plastic surgery,” Sun editor Dominic Mohan said during the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics last February, according to BBC News. “It's obviously legal – we're allowed to publish those images and I think it's become quite an innocuous British institution."
Murdoch dropped the hint that the Sun models might be told to cover up in a Twitter exchange with a Page 3 critic on Feb. 10.
On Monday, activist group No More Page 3 posted to Twitter: "We won't stop until page 3 is finally, permanently, out of the paper but (Murdoch’s) tweet yesterday is encouraging.”
The group added:
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