Halifax radio station takes heat for controversial Facebook post
A Halifax radio station has stirred up controversy after posting a picture to Facebook that some found offensive.
The photo in question was posted by Newcap Radio’s Q104 and compared Caitlyn Jenner’s transition to a cat becoming a dog. The picture of a beagle was captioned “Bruce Jenner’s Cat.”
Reaction to the photo was split. Some thought it was funny, or no big deal, while other people thought it was insensitive and transphobic.
“It's a cheap joke at the expense of trans people and a radio station should know better,” says Kevin Kindred, who took to Facebook to weigh in on the topic. “I think there's humour that is clever and then there's humour that just takes easy jabs at disadvantaged people and this is clearly the latter.”
Kindred was not alone in his opinion. Dozens expressed their concerns with the post, however others piled on hateful, transphobic comments.
“It was a conversation that brought out a lot of transphobia from the listeners of Q104 and the followers of their Facebook,” says Kindred.
The station removed the post and issued an apology.
“Facebook becomes a cruel place where people can hide behind their comments and say horrible things. Some of the comments were just ridiculously harmful,” says Steve Jones, vice president of Newcap Radio.
Newcap Radio says it is the role of stations like Q104 to start important conversations, however, not everyone agrees this was the right way to start this particular conversation
“Starting a conversation by making hurtful comments is not the way to start a conversation,” says Kate Shewan, executive director of The Youth Project.
Shewan says this kind of ‘humour’ is something trans people deal with all the time.
“Invalidating a person's identity is really at the heart of transphobia. The first step is sort of saying that who you identify as is not real,” says Shewan.
Professional comedian Marc Sauve says he didn't find the post particularly funny,
but more importantly, he says attempting edgy humour online is dangerous.
“In today's world, with the internet and the way that people sort of pile on with public opinion, I think it's a moving target,” says Sauve.
For its part, Newcap Radio says they're just happy to have people talking about Q104 and that their stations don't shy away from controversy.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Ritchie