Censored Margaret Atwood Piece Spawns #Hairgate

A lighthearted column about the hair of Canada’s three male candidates in the Federal election had one of the country’s leading authors Tweeting about whether or not she had been censored.

“Um, did I just get censored?” Atwood tweeted early Friday evening. Screen shot 2015-08-22 at 12.03.54 AM“For my flighty little caper on Hair?”

It turned out, she had been. First the piece was pulled and later, in the face of an uproar, the piece was reinstated, though edits had been made.

The Globe and Mail — and The National Post’s major competitor — reported Friday evening:

“I’m very confused,” said Ms. Atwood when reached by the Globe on Friday evening.

She said after posting a tweet earlier this summer, in which she expressed interest in writing a column, she was approached by several publications, including the Globe. She ended up agreeing to write three columns for the Post.

“They’re quite lively and I thought they had a sense of fun,” she said.

Ms. Atwood said she submitted the column nine days ago and that no concerns about it were relayed to her before publication.

Ms. Atwood described an email she received later Friday evening that said a senior editor posted the piece “before the people upstairs had a chance to review it.”

“I just thought if you’re going to get your knickers in a twist, why do it over what’s, quite frankly, a really silly piece. It’s about hair!”

The hair-raising (sorry) piece is gorgeous, and pure Atwood.

Hair is in the election-season air. I didn’t put it there – those attack ads on Mr. Trudeau introduced the subject, with “Nice hair, Justin” – but now that the hairball has been coughed up, so to speak, let’s consider it.

Hair is a big deal. People spend a lot of time worrying about their hair and a lot of money altering it. Some sculpt it, some dye it, some shave it off. Some hide it under scarves and hats because God, in his or her many forms, has taken a serious interest in hair – telling people to grow it, conceal it, cut it, refrain from cutting it, wear a wig in place of it, not let Delilah hack it off, and so on. Some are born with hair, some achieve hair, and some have hair thrust upon them through laws and customs. Some hair goes missing, leaving either a Mr. Clean macho look or a bowling-ball one, as with Mr. Duffy. Some hair is curly, some is straight. Luck of the draw.

While what’s been dubbed #hairgate on Twitter had more than one of Atwood’s followers lamenting the absence of Jon Stewart, comedy seemed to be in the air as almost everyone went low for bad hair puns.

“Nice to see @MargaretAtwood’s hair piece get more attention than Donald Trump’s hairpiece,” tweeted @mattkeeley. “Maybe you should part company?” @BillTowgood suggested to Atwood. “The vanishing @MargaretAtwood column appears to be a case of hair today gone later today,” tweeted @robertbenzie and Leacock Award-winning author @leirenyoung quipped “Lather, rinse, retweet. #hairgate”

You can read the restored-but-censored National Post piece here.

Or have a peek at the article in its original glory on The Walrus.

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