TORONTO -- A University of Toronto professor and Governor Generals award-winning author is apologizing for saying he didn't like to teach the work of Canadian, female or Chinese writers.
David Gilmour told QMI Agency on Wednesday he was joking when he made the remarks to a writer from Hazlitt magazine. The comments were taken out of context, he insisted.
"These were remarks tossed off over my shoulder," he said. "What she's done is she's transcribed them in plain humourless un-nuanced English and put them there as if I said this sh-- with a straight face."
The literature professor said he hasn't been asked by the university to apologize, but has told U of T officials he will.
During the interview with the magazine, he said: "When I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women."
Gilmour also added he hasn't found any Canadian literature that he wants to teach.
"Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren't any women writers in the course," he told Hazlitt. "I say I don't love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth."
Gilmour said while giving the interview, he was also talking to a colleague in his office speaking French. He was not giving the reporter his full attention when he made the comments, he added.
Hazlitt's editor-in-chief Christopher Frey said in an e-mailed statement that the magazine stands behind the work of reporter Emily M. Keeler.
Frey added plans are in the works to publish a full transcript of the interview to let readers judge for themselves if Gilmour was taken out of context.