NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two Long Island radio show hosts have been suspended until further notice for an apparent homophobic hoax.
Last week, Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson, the hosts of K-98.3’s morning show, posted an invitation from two gay dads to their daughter’s seventh birthday party along with a controversial response from another parent which read in part, “I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.'”
The invitation and response, which were both fake, were posted to the station’s Facebook page and listeners were not told it was a complete fabrication, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
“People were rightfully upset about it,” David Kilmnick, Chief Executive Officer, Long Island GLBT Services Network, told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
Over the weekend, the hosts admitted that they made up the story and said they were “attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic.”
Harper and Karlson have been suspended and the station posted an apology on its Facebook page Sunday night.
“K-98.3 has been serving Long Island for over 25 years and we respect the important role we play in the lives of our listeners. We deeply value our relationship with our listeners and are committed to providing them with the highest level of service because they deserve the very best. I sincerely apologize for the actions of Steve and Leeana, their insensitivity to the hurt it may have caused anyone, and for the breach of trust these actions have caused”, said Dave Widmer, GM/Market Manager, Connoisseur Media Long Island.
Kilmnick plans to meet with the station to have a dialogue about the real problems same-sex parents and their children face.
“I’ll be sitting down with Steve and Leanna to talk about the situation,” Kilmnick said. “I truly believe there was no malcontent on their part, that this was something that they really wanted to discuss, it was just a stupid way to go about it.”
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