UPDATE: Texas' KLIF Radio Host Chris Krok Apologizes - "I did cross the line"
In response to GLAAD outreach and community outcry, Texas radio host Chris Krok - of KLIF 570 AM - said on his show Tuesday, "I did cross the line," referring to remarks he made on-air in October about Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns.
Though Krok said he stands by his original opinion 100 percent [that the city council meeting wasn't the place for Joel Burns to discuss his sexual orientation and his experience with bullying as a teenager], he acknowledged that he crossed a line by making his remarks personal (we won't discuss here the manner in which he did, so as not to repeat the offending remarks).
"And for that I apologize," said Krok.
(For the record: GLAAD strongly disagrees with Krok's opinion. Had Joel not shared his experience with bullying in the very public manner in which he did, from the perspective of an openly gay elected official, it's highly unlikely that his message would have been seen by more than 2.3 million people on YouTube and millions more via national television. It's precisely because of all these particulars that millions were educated about the concrete harms of bullying by way of Joel's emotional and heartfelt message. Furthermore, local government has both the means and the responsibility to prevent bullying in schools. It's also important to reiterate that Joel was prompted to share his message in the first place after one city council [in Norman, Oklahoma] did not take this responsibility seriously; what followed was devastating. For these reasons, GLAAD believes the city council meeting was the perfect place for Joel to share his message.)
Krok added, "When there's something sensitive about people [their experience with bullying, thoughts about/attempts at suicide, etc.], that's where you need to have sensitivity and for that [lack of sensitivity] I apologize. Brackets are mine.
He continued, "A gay person is worth no more or no less than I am. God loves gay folks just as much as he loves me."
If Krok truly believes that, it's difficult to understand why he spoke about Joel Burns in the manner he did.
Though we can't change Krok's opinion about Joel Burns' message or LGBT people in general, we can have hope that his heart and mind will change over time. In the meantime, we trust that our outreach will help ensure Krok does not cross the line he did back in October. GLAAD will continue to hold him accountable. As we continue to reiterate, media personalities are not free from the consequences of their speech. They are obligated to use their airwaves responsibly and certainly never in such a way that could cause harm to someone.