NORTHAMPTON (AP) — The Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of a Massachusetts newspaper group says he has been fired for seeking pay equity for women in the newsroom, but his publisher says that is not true.

Jeffrey Good in an email to staff Wednesday at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, the Greenfield Recorder and the alternative weekly Valley Advocate, said he was fired because he “advocated for transparency and fair pay for our female colleagues,” specifically, a photographer and two reporters.

Good also said the publisher, Michael Rifanburg, referred to the women as “girls” and “selfish young ladies.”

Rifanburg in a statement denied using those terms and said the issue of gender pay equity at the papers has been under review since 2016, before Good started. He did not give a specific reason for firing Good.

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