Columbia University suspends psychiatry head after ‘freak of nature’ tweet about dark-skinned model

By: | February 25, 2022

Columbia University’s psychiatry department head has been suspended after he tweeted a photo of a dark-skinned model and commented on her skin color, referring to her as a “freak of nature.”

Jeffrey Lieberman shared the tweet about model Nyakim Gatwech, who is of South Sudanese descent, writing: “Whether a work of art or freak of nature she’s a beautiful sight to behold.”

He was suspended Wednesday as psychiatry department chair at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and also removed as psychiatrist-in-chief at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, according to an email sent to Columbia faculty and staff that was shared with NBC News.

Read more from NBC News here