Writer Luke O’Neil’s controversial opinion piece, published in the Boston Globe Apr. 10, was edited several times and ultimately removed from the newspaper's website after review from Globe ownership, according to Interim Editorial Editor Shirley Leung.

“In the end, this piece did not meet Globe standards and we regret that it got posted,” Leung, who is also a WGBH News contributor, said Friday in an interview with Boston Public Radio.

In the piece, originally titled “Keep Kirstjen Nielsen unemployed and eating Grubhub over her kitchen sink,” O’Neil wrote that one of his “biggest regrets” was “not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon” when he had the chance while working as a waiter. He also suggested that former Trump administration officials like former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should be made uncomfortable in public.

“As for the waiters out there, I’m not saying you should tamper with anyone’s food, as that could get you into trouble,” O’Neil continued. “You might lose your serving job. But you’d be serving America. And you won’t have any regrets years later.”

Leung, who tweeted a link to the story when it was first published, said she edited the piece and removed a few lines, re-publishing with a note notifying readers of the changes. “The Globe regrets the previous tone of the piece,” the note read.

“I did what I'm trained to do with a problematic story, I fix them and I flag to the reader why something was changed,” Leung said.

The Globe’s decision to ultimately pull the story came after John and Linda Pizzuti Henry read the story, according to Leung.

“When the Henrys read the column, they felt that even after changing the column — and I ultimately agree with them on this — this is a kind of piece that should never been published on our website to begin with,” Leung said.

The editorial note now posted on the opinion page claims the article “did not receive sufficient editorial oversight and did not meet Globe standards. The Globe regrets its lack of vigilance on the matter. O’Neil is not on staff.”

“He has a provocative writing style, but this piece really crossed the line,” Leung said. “That being said, it is our fault that there was a breach in protocol.”

In a phone interview, O’Neil said he was surprised and disappointed by the process.

“I could completely understand not running it in the first place,” O’Neil said. “It is a kind of an edgy take for a daily newspaper. But on the other hand, that's exactly what they brought me in to do, they know who I am. ... I kind of have a reputation for this type of stuff.”

O’Neil, who has previously written about urinating on Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly’s graves, regularly criticizes conservative media and politicians. He said his goal was to bring a more liberal perspective to the Globe.

“We're always constantly complaining about how milquetoast opinion columnists are, or centrist,” O’Neil said. “The only way I talked myself into doing a weekly column was to see what I can do within this sort of traditionally boring space, to try to actually bring some actual left-leaning opinions into a newspaper.”

According to Leung, O’Neil crossed a line by “advocating physical harm to someone we disagree with,” and that the “whole premise” of the piece was problematic. “What was wrong was the whole premise of causing bodily harm to a former Trump official,” Leung said. “This is not what the Globe should be about.”

O’Neil said he didn’t literally mean to encourage waiters to urinate in the food of former Trump officials.

“Even if I was, who is going do that?” O’Neil said. “Like, ‘Luke O'Neil from the Boston Globe told me to pee on someone, so now I'm going to do it now?’ In what f**king realm is that actually going to happen?"

The intent, O’Neil says, was never to advocate for actual physical violence.

“I do not think that Trump administration officials should be beaten up or anything like that,” he said. “I do think that their lives should be made uncomfortable, and I stand by that.”

“There's nothing over the line about this,” he continued. “My question is, how many families do we have to tear apart, how many babies do we have to snatch away before people could agree that it's okay to be rude to the head of the DHS? Is there a number? If we stole a million babies, would it be okay to yell at Kirstjen Nielsen?”

O’Neil says he has received numerous death threats and threatening messages on social media in response to the story.

"I had to lock down all my social media, I'm getting death threats and people are doxxing me, posting photos of my family. It's crazy. "

The Globe’s handling of the situation, including its note that O’Neil is “not on staff,” demonstrated a lack of support for freelance writers, according to O’Neil.

“This is a great example of how freelancers are mistreated,” he said. “We're offered no job security and no benefits, and then as soon as Fox News says you wrote something mean, you're out of a job.”

According to Leung, O’Neil’s relationship with the newspaper is under review.

“I think Luke is a terrific, talented writer,” she said. “Maybe the Globe is not the best platform for him.”

After this incident, O’Neil says he does not want to continue freelancing for the Globe.

“I have no interest,” he said. “The Globe is obviously a great paper with a fine tradition of journalism, and I've been happy to write for them many times over the years, but it is not something that I currently need in my life or that I will miss.”