Radio Hosts Fired Over Transgender Jokes

Rochester deejays slammed city's new health policy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2014 5:02 PM CDT
Kimberly Rae and Barry Beck are out of work.   (98.9 FM)

(Newser) – The city of Rochester, NY, has a new policy that extends health benefits to transgender employees and, not coincidentally, two job openings for morning radio deejays. The latter is because station 98.9 FM fired Kimberly Rae and Barry Beck after a series of jokes and criticisms about the new policy, reports the Democrat and Chronicle. A sampling:

  • "Transgender or gender nonconforming. What the hell does that mean? Like you're not a woman or a man?"
  • "The dude can look like a lady and the city is going to pay for it!"
  • "Does that mean then they'll also, if women want a boob job, they'll pay for a boob job, because I think that's only right."
  • "The services that will be paid for under the new coverage—gender reassignment surgery, psychological counseling, because you're probably a nutjob to begin with."

The comments stirred up immediate criticism of the Kimberly and Beck show, including an online petition to have them fired. It worked, with parent Entercom pulling the trigger today and issuing an apology, reports TWC News. The local City newspaper thinks Entercom is acting only because ad dollars are at stake and shouldn't be able to rid itself of the controversy so quickly, while conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry slams the new health-care changes as "Lovelycare" in honor of Mayor Lovely Warren. You can listen to the original Kimberly and Beck comments in full via Slate.

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