Radio host for Star 105 in Toledo,Ohio has come under fire for a tongue-in-cheek billboard advertisement which mocks Caitlyn Jenner.
The billboard was a parody of the Olympian’s iconic Vanity Fair photoshoot except with DJ Denny Schaffer as Jenner. The ad campaign unapologetically mocked Jenner and the entire trans community by including the text, “TRANSITION to Star 105… and don’t call me Caitlyn”.
Schaffer, a Born-Again Christian, is known for expressing his right wing views on air. A trans blogger and regular listener of Star 105 wrote an open letter to the station’s parent broadcaster, Cumulus.
I have a long history, being exposed to Denny Schaffer and his notable, notorious history for speaking negatively of LGBT individuals.
I listened as Toledo’s most popular radio disc jockey often lampooned gay people, used them for punch-lines, made fun of them and regularly made an effort to humiliate and dehumanise them. I remembered a man calling in with a feminine sounding voice and being berated and laughed off the air.
The state of being Transgender is not a joke. It is not a punchline. It is not a laughing matter. Your billboards, your social media page and comments there in highlight how much ignorance runs rampant in areas between Americas more populated coastlines. Many non-Trans people find sensitivity to the issue “Ridiculous” and the campaign “funny” only because they’ve never been left on the fringes to suffer. They’ve never had to struggle, hide, fear for their safety, their job, their home or their lives due to their gender presentation.
Local LGBT advocacy group Equality Toledo have spoken out against the campaign, calling it “hateful” and “lazy” and a petition has also been started calling for broadcasting bosses to fire the DJ.
Schaffer apologised for any distress caused, saying it was just a “parody of a magazine cover” and described Jenner as a “hero.”
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