Canadian Radio Show Off the Air For Anti-Gay, Controversial Comments
Canadian morning radio program "The Dean Blundell Show," which airs on Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge CFNY-FM, is off the air after its hosts reportedly made anti-gay comments and other controversial remarks, the Huffington Post reports.
Officials from The Edge’s parent company, Corus Entertainment, posted a statement on The Edge’s website regarding the issue, saying "The Dean Bundle Show" has been suspended.
"This will allow us to review our internal practices to ensure that our programming is compliant with our station’s policies, as well as community and broadcast standards," the statement reads. It is unclear at this time if the show will return or return with a new host.
The incident stems from a report made by the Toronto Star in a Dec. 8 show, where the newspaper outlines comments made by the program’s producer Derek Welsman regarding a criminal trial where he was the jury’s foreman.
The publication also points to a Sept. 30 show, which contained anti-gay and biased comments, which could have jeopardized the fairness of the case Welsman was involved. The defendent, Joshua Dowholis, was being tried for allegedly sexually assaulting four men he met in a Toronto bathhouse in 2011. Dowholis is HIV positive.
"If anyone wants to get into the backdoor business, I can give you some tips," Welsman said during the program.
"All I know is that you have damned a man to five of the greatest years of his life," Dean Blundell said.
"True," Welsman replied. "I have done my job, my civic duty."
Shortly after the comments, Dowholis was found guilty on Sept. 27, Welsman revealed more details about what the jurors had to determine before coming up with a guilty verdict. Additionally, Welsman spoke about the trial and the jury during three different shows.
It should be noted Welsman has not been charged with anything as of this writing.
The judge in Dowholis’s case could order an inquiry into the radio show and Dowholis’s lawyer, Kathryn Wells, said Dowholis could seek a mistrial if that happens.
"Just because he’s gay, just because he lived that lifestyle, does not disentitle him to a fair trial," she told the Toronto Star. She went on to say Welsman "willfully engaged in misconduct" such as discussing jury deliberations.
Dowholis is scheduled to be sentenced in January.
This isn’t the first time "The Dean Blundell Show" has been in hot water. The Huffington Post reports the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council reprimanded the show four times since September 2009, for controversial and anti-gay comments. After the program’s latest run in with the CBSC, the show’s officials had to put together a plan outlining how they would avoid similar incidents from occurring.
"The CBSC received two complaints about the broadcast alleging that the hosts had given the impression that young people should be ashamed if they engage in a ’gay’ sport or other homosexual activities and had perpetuated negative stereotypes about homosexuality," the CBSC’s Aug. 14, 2013, decision read. "CFNY-FM responded that the program is intended to be satirical and sarcastic."