The FHM South Africa / Max Barashenkov / Montle Moroosi debacle…

FHM Banner

UPDATE: Screenshots from the brand new August 2013 issue, including the Editors Letter which is all about Max and Montle…

By now you’ve probably heard (something) about FHM staff member Max Barashenkov (sometimes Maxim) who updated his personal Facebook page with the status “i propose correctional rape and sterilization for any white person who twerks”. His colleague Montle Moroosi put petrol on the fire with the comments like “i think rape can be quite fun if executed in a romantic manner. like saying ‘i love you’ before slipping a roofie in her earl grey tea” (amongst others).

For screenshots of the post and comments that followed, you can read it all here.

UPDATE: Read Max and Montle’s open letter to South Africa. I take my hat off to these guys for not only saying ‘sorry, sorry, sorry’, but that they’re also pointing out that it was indeed a “private – and do keep in mind that it was private, with all Facebook privacy settings set to ‘friends only’ – conversation” (as written in the letter). And the fact that they point out that the way their comment(s) were talked about and broadcasted, they don’t “recall quite as much of a public outcry over the Zozo case itself – Twitter didn’t rage and Gareth Cliff hardly made wisecracks about it. And that is an issue we cannot help but raise.” Do yourself a favour and read their letter. 

As it is with Twitter and Social Media, it  just takes one person to start a whole storm, and get everyone else revved up to join the discussion and debate, and to ‘boycott’ the specific person/company/brand. Then the mainstream media and blogs pick up the ‘story’, and then it just can’t be stopped. Which in turn leads to the specific people in question getting fired… We’ve seen it happen a few times.

You can read up on the story and the background information below;

But who are Max Barashenkov (sometimes writing under the name Maxim Barashenkov) and Montle Moorosi, and what do they do at FHM? I decided to search for a few articles that they’ve written, so that you can get a sense of what type of journalists they might be.

Random Question and Stupid Answers

In every issue of FHM (just like Heat), they ask a random question and then all the staff members give an answer. I sometimes think everyone tries to be more creative or shocking than the other person, so don’t believe too much what they answer… Below are a few of the questions and answers of the past few issues, and you’ll see what Maxim (Features Editor) and Montle (Editorial Assistant) answered;


The August 2013 Question: “What’s the one thing you hide from everyone?” This is from the August issue, which just went on sale… This will probably be the last issue their names appear in…

The July Question:

The July 2013 Question: “What’s the biggest self-induced mess you’ve found yourself in?” I’m sure this whole bomb that burst would be Maxim and Montle’s new answer…

The June 2013 Question:

The June 2013 Question: “What’s the dumbest injury you’ve sustained?”

The May 2013 Question:

The May 2013 Question: “What’s the worst thing you’ve seen on the Interweb?”

The April 2013 Question:

The April 2013 Question: “What’s one thing you own that makes you particularly happy?”

The March 2013 Question:

The March 2013 Question: “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?”

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 4.06.10 PM

The February 2013 Question: “What would be your weapon of choice in the Zombie Apocalypse?”

So what type of articles did they write? I did a quick search, and found the following articles… I think it would help put in context whether their opinions and comments were out of character, or part of their writing-style and personality… (to read a specific article, you will have to click on the image, which will open a bigger image in a separate window, and then you should be able to read the copy) Please note that I’m note saying that what they said, or how they joked about rape, is correct or okay.

Maxim Barashenkov

FHM, February 2013 (Zombie Survivor Guide)

Max 1.1

Max 1.2

FHM, March 2013 (Yankee Doodle Dandy – Jessica Versteeg)

Max 2.1

Max 2.2

Max 2.3

FHM, April 2013 (Island Girl! – Hannah Davis)

Max 3.1

Max 3.2

Max 3.3

FHM, April 2013 (Partying hard in Durban)

That’s Mr. Max himself in the picture below, and in some of the party pictures.

Max 4.1

Max 4.2

Max 4.3

FHM, July 2013 (Queen of our hearts – Melinda Bam)

Max 5.1

Max 5.2

Max 5.3

Max 5.4

Montle Moorosi

FHM, February 2013 (Unsung hero – Mike Bernardo)

Montle 1.1

Montle 1.2

Montle 1.3

FHM, April 2013 (Lessons from Jail)

When I read this article in April, it was actually one of those articles that made me think “WTF!?” and “How commin to publish something like this”. Read the article yourself, and decide for yourself. And yes, that Mr. Montle Moroosi in all the pictures…

Montle 2.1

Montle 2.2

Montle 2.3

FHM, June 2013 (Bathroom habits of the red-blooded male)

Montle 3.1

Montle 3.2

FHM, August 2013 (10 Things to hide from everyone!)

This is from FHM’s brand new August 2013 issue, which will probably be the last issue that any work from Max or Montle appears… Because it’s their new issue, I’ve only uploaded low-res images. To read the full article, you’ll have to get the new issue.

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 12.11.54 PM

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 12.12.12 PM

I’m keeping my judgement for myself about what they said or shouldn’t have said, but I do think there needs to be some leniency when something is said in a private capacity, and not as part of work… I think suspending (read: firing, because that’s what will happen…) them is a bit too harsh. And the magazine should also not be blamed in any way, just because these individuals work for them. FHM did absolutely nothing wrong, so I can’t see why people are saying “I will never buy FHM again”… But I’ll leave it at that.

I just wanted to show some of their previous works to give some context on what they might have seen/saw as humour (originally).

13 thoughts on “The FHM South Africa / Max Barashenkov / Montle Moroosi debacle…

  1. Pingback: Ken disses Barbie, and more news | 9Lives

  2. Pingback: FHM. It’s a Dead Thing. (FHM South Africa will be closing) | MediaSlut

  3. Pingback: FHM South Africa, September 2013 | MediaSlut

  4. Pingback: My Tyd (Rapport), 4 August 2013 | MediaSlut

  5. Look we all know these guys are employed to entertain chavs, but Moroosi’s a talentless, bigoted hack who thinks being outrageous and offensive is automatically meaningful and subversive. As for FHM, they would do well to rid themselves of someone who operates a blog like this:

    This is the same person, who in his lame joke of an apology (which BTW spends most of it’s time trying to redirect the blame at everyone else) says “Yes, we are sick people, sick children of a sick country that refuses to acknowledge and deal with its diseases”. Could he be more of a hypocrite?

  6. This, much like with Lance Witten’s Linkin Park comment, is the kind of kneejerk reaction we’ve become accustomed to. Twitter has the emotional maturity of a 2 year old on the best of days. I’m not condoning what was said, I’m merely pointing out that there are better ways to handle situations.

    FHM reacted due to an outcry on Twitter and Facebook. They decided to take the hardest line with these two, because they haven’t had to deal with this kind of backlash before. If this is the president that we’re setting for jokes made in bad taste then I’m becoming seriously worried about the future. If a few hundred people on the internet can cost you your job, what’s next? Where does this end and when do we draw the line?

    Social media is still so new and companies don’t know how to handle the bad publicity and public outcry. FHM satisfied the masses like the Romans did, by giving them the blood they wanted. The appropriate response would have been a simple statement and an investigation. The investigation will end up at one of two doors.

    1. The comments were made in a personal capacity and albeit of an offensive nature, it was not directed at their employer, a co-worker or a member of public.

    2. If they failed to comply with any provisions made within their employment contract, it’s a simple duty related offence.

    Furthermore, what is Media24’s SM policy? Does it state that you’re not allowed to say anything that might bring harm to the company name? If so, what constitutes as harm to their name? Saying something that upsets someone? If that’s the case, they need to address the editor of Women24 who frequently goes on tirades using foul and offensive language in her tongue lashings. She offends people too.

    Unless FHM had their advertisers threatening to pulls ads and they were facing loss of revenue from this incident, there’s no grounds for dismissal. The few people who said they wouldn’t support them anymore? Most of them aren’t even subscribers anyway.

  7. Pingback: FHM South Africa writers spark social outrage with FB rape jokes [Update] | memeburn

  8. Pingback: FHM South Africa, August 2013 | MediaSlut

  9. The video that caused this drama: Hot girl teaches hairy guy to twerk, has Anton Taylor (who this whole thing was directed to) learning to twerk

  10. this is so ridiculous. It’s not as if the magazine published these comments. These chops are chops and should’ve known that in all spheres they are associated with their brand and have to behave appropriately. Of course that is hard when working on a lad’s mag when you are meant to be a lad. But being a ‘lad’ doesn’t mean you don’t have to respect women and know rape jokes are stupid. So I don’t agree with them, I agree FHM had to take action against them but this branding FHM as misogynists is just ridiculous. I know many people who have worked/work there – male and female who are clever, funny, witty, normal, non-racist, non-sexist people. Why should the brand suffer now. It just means the rest of Twitter who are shouting down the magazine are as ignorant as the guys who said those things in the first place.

    • It’s because most people who read these things, just read the ‘context’ in 140 characters or less. Don’t know the history / background / ect. I actually read a few tweets and people thinking that it was published in the magazine itself and asking “how could they let it go to print!? They need to pull it from the printers immediately”. FHM did nothing wrong in this scenario. Thanks for your comment and valid points!

Leave a comment, and join the conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s