Sometimes punishment is swift and severe, as Rochester radio hosts Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck learned firsthand after an atrocious on-air segment about transgender people cost them their jobs. After discussing a new transgender health care plan by the city of Rochester, the two began making crude transphobic jokes (e.g. playing the Aerosmith song “Dude Looks Like a Lady”) and calling trans people “nutjobs.” The pair also came perilously close to outing a transgender girl who plays for a local high school softball team. At first it was announced on the Facebook page of 98.9 The Buzz that the radio personalities had been suspended indefinitely. That was just last night. By this morning Entercom Rochester released this statement:
“This morning Entercom fired Kimberly and Beck effective immediately. Their hateful comments against the transgender community do not represent our station or our company. We deeply apologize to the transgender community, the community of Rochester, and anyone else who was offended by their hateful comments. We are proud of our past work on behalf of the local LGBT community and we remain committed to that partnership.”
Vice-President/General Manager Entercom Rochester
There seems to be plenty of support for the decision to fire Kimberly and Beck, but the two had no shortage of supporters as well. Here are some of the comments from the radio station’s Facebook page:
Bigotry? What u don’t like the truth ?-Bernie Ryan
Where was the bigotry and hatred????? I listened and even tho I didn’t agree entirely they had some good points. What about those who suffer from cancer…why can’t the city pay for their reconstructive surgery…..Don’t be surprised if lawsuits ensue based on discrimination.-Beth Lynn Van Hook
The only ones showing hate and bigotry is the transgender community and their supporters.Kimberly and Beck did nothing wrong , clearly you haters never listen to them .Instead you haters just jumped blindly on to the bandwagon .-Shaun Padden
Yes [being transgender] is a choice, JM you fucking moron. Did people on the frontier or in the colonial days worry about wanting to be a woman when they were a dude…21st century issues causes by declining common sense…. -John Magnuson
Transexualism is not a choice? Are you serious? Has hate and lies blocked your brains with anti-truth mucus? How stupid can someone be to believe transexualism is not a choice?!-Izzler Zzl
the main point of what they brought up had nothing to do with a transgendered teenager but instead the asinine thinking of the asinine mayor of Rochester who decided she wanted to have us join the slime pit of San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC in forcing taxpayers to pay for sex reassignment surgery and then having the gall to also ask for a tax increase to help fund it. KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF AS AN IDIOT! -Kevin Russell
[Y]ou’re obviously confused between hate and ignorance. Saying a drug addict is a scumbag is, well to be honest, true. Sorry, but put your big boy pants on and accept the fact that your friend from the sound of it was a non-contributor to society and fit the basic stereotype of being a loser or scumbag. Likewise, saying a person is “nuts” because of their lifestyle is not hate speech. They didn’t tell listeners to form a lynch mob and hunt down gays and trannys, they didn’t say all drug addicts should just be killed, or anything like that. They gave their opinion on a person based on the story of their life choices. I put my daughter on the back of my motorcycle and she rides with me, has been since she was 6. If you don’t agree with that and think it’s dangerous and go around saying I’m an idiot, should I be able to piss and moan until you lose your job because I don’t like your opinion of my life choices? -Brad Noody
And, as usual, there’s a bunch of people who couldn’t understand the First Amendment if you rolled up the Constitution and swatted them on the head with it. Yes, you can still be fired by your employers for hate speech. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences as I have pointed out numerous times by now. Just ask Donald Sterling.
Well, I have nothing left to say about this except good riddance to bad rubbish.