UK's Sun drops topless 'Page Three girls' after campaign
By Estelle Shirbon
LONDON (Reuters) - British newspaper The Sun has ended a 45-year tradition of picturing topless models on page three, scrapping a daily feature denounced by women's rights groups since the tabloid launched it in the early years of Rupert Murdoch's ownership.
Murdoch had staunchly defended "Page Three girls" for decades. But pressure on Britain's best-selling paper had intensified in recent years, with a campaign drawing support from politicians, trade unions, universities and a breast cancer charity, among many others.
The Times, also owned by Murdoch's News Corp, reported that The Sun had decided to quietly drop Page Three girls and that the tycoon had signed off on the decision. It said topless women would still feature on the dedicated Page3.com website, which is behind a paywall.
A spokesman for The Sun said: "Page three of The Sun is where it's always been, between pages two and four, and you can find Lucy from Warwick at Page3.com."
He declined to comment on whether the move was permanent.
The change has come into effect since Monday, when page three featured a model wearing a bra, while Tuesday's edition showed women in bikinis running on a beach.
Supporters of the "No More Page Three" campaign hailed the change as a step forward for gender equality in Britain.
"The sexualization, the objectification of women in this way was basically saying to all of us that what mattered, frankly, were our breasts not our brains," said opposition Labour member of parliament (MP) Stella Creasy. Continued...