WINNIPEG, July 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Winnipeg morning radio personality has been suspended just a day after making some politically-incorrect comments about “the whole transgender community” that offended left-wing listeners.
Dave Wheeler, who hosts 92 CITI FM’s Wheeler in the Morning, was discussing on Monday the controversy over Scarlett Johansson signing on to play a real-life criminal who rose to power in the 1970s dressing as a man. LGBT activists accused her of “appropriating” a role that should have gone to a trans actor, and Johansson has since dropped out of the film.
“I am so confused! I am so confused by the whole transgender community. I mean literally, there is nothing you can do to make them happy,” Wheeler said, according to CBC News. “People act and pretend to be different things. Kinda like what you're doing! Really! In the grand scheme of things.”
His co-hosts expressed mild discomfort with the analogy, with Dave Turnbull saying he “wouldn’t go that far” and Rena Jae suggesting “maybe take that back,” but both agreed that, in the latter’s words, “people just like to complain to complain nowadays.”
“What a bunch of snowflakes,” Wheeler concluded.
That was enough to spark outrage on social media, with self-described transgender individuals claiming his words were “creating a culture of hate and creating a culture of fear in Winnipeg,” and that “[y]ou could hear the hate in his voice.”
One Facebook user also posted screenshots of a text correspondence between Wheeler and LGBT “ally” Kara Fraser, in which the host wrote that he does “not hate anyone that is trans, or anyone who is in a marginalized group,” but he does “have an issue with the hypocrisy where the trans community bullied someone who is not trans to the point where she left her job.”
He continued that it was anyone’s prerogative to change genders, but he considered the “grey area that’s been created for someone who is a woman, or man, who has not made the full transition surgically” to be “just playing pretend to their genetic make-up.” Wheeler concluded that “male” and “female” were objective realities, and that until someone physically makes the change, “trans” is a “made up word to defend people’s dysphoria and make it acceptable.”
The station’s parent company Rogers Media took Wheeler off the air Tuesday morning, and said he was suspended pending further, unidentified actions.
“The comments do not represent our standards and core values, and we apologize for the insensitive and hurtful remarks made by Dave Wheeler,” spokeswoman Andrea Goldstein told CBC News. “We do not condone this type of behaviour, and we are taking steps to address this.”
“Rogers is committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the company,” its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report declares.
Co-host Jae read a statement on the air Tuesday morning on behalf of the company stating that “Dave’s words yesterday reflect a lack of understanding and sensitivity to transgender issues,” the Winnipeg Free Press adds. Wheeler himself has yet to comment on the situation.
Transgender advocates tell the press that nothing short of firing Wheeler will satisfy them. “You can't support us one month of the year,” transgender “man” Theo DeSilva said. “He” also called for sensitivity training and a public apology, while declaring the former insufficient and the latter unlikely.