June 08, 2009, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today spoke with Vice President and General Manager of KRXQ-FM in Sacramento, John Geary, regarding the station’s planned actions to apologize for anti-transgender remarks. The conversation occurred after host Rob Williams posted a letter to the radio station’s Web site admitting "failure as a broadcaster."
"KRXQ appears to be taking this matter very seriously following widespread response from community members and advertisers," said Rashad Robinson, Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD. "Vice-President and General Manger John Geary assured us that the issue would be dealt with in a frank and positive manner this Thursday and that both Rob Williams and Arnie States will apologize."
GLAAD first contacted KRXQ after a concerned listener submitted a GLAAD incident report regarding dehumanizing remarks that hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States made encouraging violence against transgender children.
When the station failed to apologize, GLAAD issued a Call to Action urging constituents to call on KRXQ and hold Williams and States accountable for their remarks. GLAAD also distributed the Call to Action to LGBT advocacy organizations, social networking sites and media outlets.
According to the KRXQ, hundreds of letters poured in, prompting the station manager to promise that Williams and States would respond to their offensive segment, however, Williams and States failed to apologize for their remarks. GLAAD re-issued the Call to Action as LGBT advocates began contacting KRXQ’s advertisers to notify them of the offensive remarks.
AT&T, Bank of America, CKE, Chipotle, Guitar Center, McDonald’s, Nissan, Snapple, SONIC, Verizon and Wells Fargo all pulled advertising from the station or announced plans to discontinue future ad buys. GLAAD coordinated with each company to release statements to the media and constituents. For statements from advertisers please visit http://glaadblog.org/tag/krxq/.
"What people see and hear in the media has a huge impact on what they do everyday and how they treat LGBT people in their families, and local communities,” said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano. “We appreciate the proactive actions of advertisers who realize that their association with these dehumanizing remarks sends a dangerous message that this kind of defamation against our community is okay."
In a letter posted to the station’s Web site, Williams said that “as a show, as people, as broadcasters, we have simply failed on almost every level.” He also announced that the show would refrain from broadcasting new episodes until June 11, 2009 when they plan to address the issue again on the air. To read the full letter please visit: http://glaadblog.org/2009/06/07/update-krxq-radio-host-rob-williams-declares-failure/.
GLAAD spoke with KRXQ today on the planned show and booked two transgender advocates, Kim Pearson and Autumn Sandeen, to appear on the program and further educate the hosts and their listeners about transgender issues. GLAAD’s Media Programs team will continue providing resources about transgender issues to KRXQ and co-host Dawn Rossi, who has defended the community, prior to Thursday’s broadcast.
"We will continue working to demand Williams and States use their radio platform responsibly on future broadcasts,” said Giuliano.