Sacramento, CA morning drive show “Rob, Arnie and Dawn” has ceased broadcasting until June 11th following advertiser and listener backlash due to a controversial segment bashing transgender and cross-dressing teens.
Chipotle, Snapple and Sonic are among nine advertisers withdrawing crucial business from the show in protest of the May 28th broadcast. During the show, co-host Arnie States said:
“If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him.”
Host Rob Williams concurred.
“A boy who wears a dress is a freak. He’s a nut.”
The pair went on to admonish transgender people and their supporters to “stop hiding behind research and laws.” It bears repeating that some studies indicate gay, lesbian and transgender teens are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
In a headache-inducing, all-caps statement made on their website, the hosts had this to say for themselves:
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.