Zoo magazine issued an unreserved apology yesterday after a heartbroken man was advised by Danny Dyer’s agony-uncle column to cut his ex-girlfriend’s face.
Anti-violence campaigners condemned the suggestion as “inexcusable” and “truly stomach churning”.
Zoo’s Ask Danny column featured a 23-year-old Manchester man who wrote in as he was unable to get over a break-up with his ex-girlfriend.
The man was advised in the 32-year-old actor’s column to go on the “rampage” with the boys or: “Cut your ex’s face, and then no one will want her”.
The Bauer Media magazine said it condemned violence against women, as did Dyer, and an internal inquiry has been launched.
It said a “production error” was responsible for the comment making it to print.
A statement issued on behalf of Zoo magazine said: “Due to an extremely regrettable production error, an inappropriate and indefensible response to a letter has appeared in this week’s issue.
“Zoo editor, Tom Etherington, apologises unreservedly for any offence the response may have caused and has launched an internal inquiry to ensure lessons are learnt.
“Zoo and Danny Dyer condemn any violence against women. A donation will be made to Women’s Aid.”
Dyer’s representative was not immediately available for comment, although The Sun’s website quoted Dyer as having said he had not made the quotes, adding: “This is totally out of order, I am totally devastated.”
Sandra Horley, Refuge CEO, slammed the comment as “absolutely inexcusable”.
She said she doubted that people like Katie Piper, who was left with significant scarring after acid was thrown in her face, would find the “joke” amusing.
Horley continued: “It is all too easy to dismiss comments like these as a joke, but at Refuge we know that domestic violence takes lives and ruins lives.
“One woman in four experiences domestic violence at some point in her life.
“Two women are killed every week by a current or former partner.
“And these figures aren’t going down. One in eight young men believe it is OK to hit their girlfriend if she is nagging,” she said, adding that the “irresponsible and tasteless comments” reinforced these “horrific” attitudes.
Holly Dustin, manager of the End Violence Against Women coalition, described the comment as “truly stomach-churning”.
She said: “Violence against women and girls is no joke but a dreadful reality for too many…
“We are calling on Zoo magazine to publish a prominent retraction and tell its readers what its stance is on violence against women.
“Furthermore, the next government must tackle media messages that condone or tolerate violence against women as a priority.”
The column also sparked a storm on Twitter, on which Zoo also placed an apology.