[Ed. Note — The original version of this article included a featured photo that pictured staff no longer employed by the radio show. The photo has been updated. We regret the error.]
Update (June 18, 2015, 12:08 p.m.): G105’s Bob and the Showgram have reportedly been taken off air. Read more here.
RALEIGH, N.C. — A local radio station has been sent a letter condemning a segment on one of its shows poking fun at Caitlyn Jenner, a 1976 Olympic gold medalist formerly known as Bruce Jenner.
Equality North Carolina and the LGBT Center of Raleigh sent the letter to the staff of G105’s Bob and the Showgram’s “American Idiots” program. The letter was also sent to show producer Chris Edge.
The show segment had asked listeners to submit songs with lyrics of their own making targeting Jenner’s gender transition.
Three listeners submitted songs with lyrics like: “In sports you ruled the world, now you say you wanna be a girl, I think I liked you better as a guy,” “I know I was born a man, but I’m a woman within, tuck it in, tuck it in,” and “Change your name all you want, but you’re always Bruce Jenner to me.”
The song submissions were still online as of Monday afternoon and can be heard here. [Ed. Note — Readers should note that some of the lyrics are vulgar and highly offensive.]
The groups are demanding a public apology to the transgender community and they’ve included an invitation to further discuss trans inclusion with the radio station, which they say has a history of anti-LGBT content.
The full letter from the group’s to the radio station is below:
To Whom it May Concern:
As organizations that represent and advocate for North Carolina’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, we at Equality NC and the LGBT Center of Raleigh are deeply concerned by the content of your June 15th Bob and the Showgram “American Idiots” program featuring references to Caitlyn Jenner:
Among these concerns is your blatant and transphobic treatment of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition and gender identity.
Another is the program’s blatant disregard for its impact on North Carolina’s transgender community as a whole.
We understand your station has received continual complaints about its portrayals of the LGBT community and several times received media reference guides to correct prior homophobic or transphobic references to the LGBT community. We direct your attention to it again:
We know the media’s negative depictions of the LGBT community can have a lasting impact not only on the public discourse around basic equality, but also to the health and safety of our community, including the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
We demand a public apology for today’s program.
But a public apology to the transgender community is just the beginning.
As the leaders of our organizations, we also believe it is time for representatives of your station and the offending program to meet with the LGBT community and some of its leaders. We’re requesting that now and hope to hear back on possible dates and times that might work for you and your top staff. We would propose that we attend this meeting along with several other LGBT community members who have repeatedly tried to communicate to you about your continued anti-LGBT bias and offensive broadcasts.
Without any kind of improvement from your station or efforts at dialogue to address these concerns, your continued use of homophobic and transphobic language and antics in your broadcasts begins to seem both intentional and malicious.
As broadcasters who serve a diverse and ever-changing audience, you have a moral and ethical responsibility to offer respect and fairness to the subjects you feature.
Today, you have failed at both.
Chris Sgro, executive director, Equality NC
James Miller, MPP, MBA, executive director, LGBT Center of Raleigh