Ads Pulled Over Radio Hosts' Transgender Remarks
June 8, 2009 at 6:46 AM (PT)
BANK OF AMERICA, VERIZON, CHIPOTLE and other companies have pulled advertising from ENTERCOM Active Rock KRXQ/SACRAMENTO after morning show hosts referred to transgender people as "freaks" with mental disorders. During a MAY 28th show, one of the three hosts on KRXQ's "ROB, ARNIE & DAWN" show said he would hit his son with his shoe if he put on high heels. Another said he would tell a boy he was "a little idiot" if he asked to wear a dress.
Officials with BANK OF AMERICA CORP. and CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC. said FRIDAY their companies pulled advertising because they found the comments offensive. "We listened to the segment and the follow-up comments, and found it quite difficult to defend," BANK OF AMERICA spokesman JOE GOODE said.
Representatives of VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC., NISSAN MOTOR CO. and CARL'S JR. restaurants also said they stopped advertising.
This morning, this note was posted on KRXQ's website:
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 7:30a.
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 7:30a. JUNE 11th.
Rob, Arnie and Dawn