More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
UPDATE: KRXQ Radio Host Rob Williams Declares Failure
I received a tip from a GLAADblog follower about a statement posted by KRXQ radio host Rob Williams who owns the "Rob, Arnie and Dawn in the Morning" show. At 11:50am PST, Williams issued a statement about their May 28 segment where Rob and Arnie made offensive remarks against transgender children. They refused to apologize on a follow-up show.
The statement comes after a week of turmoil for the radio station. On June 1, GLAAD issued a Call to Action that mobilized hundreds of people to contact the radion station and voice their concerns. You can read more about that here and here.
Huffington Post blogger Michael Rowe and Pam's House Blend contributor Autumn Sandeen were key reporters regularly following the issue. Their crucial coverage and GLAAD's Call to Action resulted in a flurry of media pick-up. Concerned community members also began to contact companies and urge them to pull their advertising contracts from KRXQ. I then ended up fielding emails and calls from companies who wanted GLAAD to post and distribute their statements to either pull or not renew advertising on the radio station due to the offensive broadcast. You can read more about that here.
GLAAD received an email on Friday, June 5 at 5:28pm EST from KRXQ station management indicating a desire to speak with us about a possible resolution for their defamatory and dehumanizing remarks. We were told that KRXQ would call us on Monday, June 8 to hear their proposal. Then radio host Rob posts a statement on the incident.
GLAAD looks forward to hearing from KRXQ management and their proposal of concrete assurances that will rectify their previous coverage on transgender children. GLAAD will continue to consult with our partners on this issue to ensure the community is well-represented when speaking to KRXQ.
Stay tuned for more details. Please check back with us for updates on this developing story.
Have an update to share with GLAAD? Send us a tweet on our Twitter account @glaad.
Rob Williams Statement:
UPDATED JUNE 7TH, 2009, 11:50AM
TO OUR LOYAL ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN FOLLOWERS,
WE HAVE FAILED YOU. AS A SHOW, AS PEOPLE, AS BROADCASTERS, WE HAVE SIMPLY FAILED ON ALMOST EVERY LEVEL.
WE PRESENTED OUR OPINIONS ON A VERY SENSITIVE SUBJECT IN A HATEFUL, CHILDISH AND CRUDE FASHION; AND THEN, GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETRACT THOSE REMARKS, WE DEFENDED THEM.
SINCE THEN, YOU, OUR LOYAL LISTENERS, HAVE MADE IT CLEAR TO US THAT WE WENT TOO FAR. THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. NONE OF YOU SAID THAT WE COULDN’T HAVE OPINIONS, YET SO MANY OF YOU SAID THAT THE WAY WE GAVE THEM CROSSED THE LINE. FURTHER, YOU SAID THAT OUR ATTEMPT TO MASK OUR COMMENTS AS “JOKES THAT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD BY OUR AUDIENCE,” WAS UNACCEPTABLE. I WOULD SAY NOW THAT IT WAS WORSE THAN THAT, IT WAS COWARDLY. YOU HAVE MADE THAT CLEAR.
WE HAVE REACHED OUT TO VARIOUS GROUPS AND ASKED FOR A CHANCE TO MAKE THIS RIGHT; TO RESPOND, WITH THEIR PARTICIPATION, TO THE EDUCATION THAT OUR AUDIENCE HAS PROVIDED US. THAT OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN GRACIOUSLY GRANTED THIS THURSDAY MORNING, JUNE 11TH. AT 7:30 A.M.
THE WORD APOLOGY APPEARS NO WHERE IN THIS LETTER FOR A REASON. WE ALREADY HID FROM DOING THE RIGHT THING ONCE AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. APOLOGIZING IN A WRITTEN, POSTED STATEMENT IS A FORM OF COWARDICE. WE WILL SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID THIS THURSDAY.
ON A FINAL, PERSONAL NOTE, AS THE LEADER AND OWNER OF THE SHOW, I HAVE MADE THE DECISION THAT WE NEED TO REFRAIN FROM BROADCASTING NEW EPISODES UNTIL WE CAN ADDRESS THIS ON THURSDAY . WE WILL RETURN TO THE AIR AT 7:30 A.M. JUNE 11TH.
ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN