Two radio hosts in Rochester, New York, were fired this week following an on-air discussion slamming the transgender community and the city's recent decision to cover benefits associated with gender reassignment surgeries.
Kimberly and Beck (Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck), hosts of the "The Breakfast Buzz" on 98.9 FM The Buzz, were terminated Thursday morning following their "hateful comments against the transgender community," according to WHAM-TV.
The pair mocked the city of Rochester's decision to cover related physical and mental benefits for its employees during a 12-minute segment on their show Monday, with Kimberly saying that "you're probably a nut job to begin with" if you're seeking reassignment surgery.
"[Rochester] Mayor Lovely Warren made that announcement. It's been approved ... the new coverage, if you are a city of Rochester employee, will pay for services related to your gender reassignment surgery," Kim said. "So, the dude can look like a lady and the city is going to pay for it. Your, your tax dollars at work."
Beck then said, "Does that mean then they'll also if women want to have a boob job, they'll pay for the boob job, because that's only right."
The hosts said that people seeking sex-change operations should pay for it themselves, going on to use some colorful language and themes in discussing the matter at length.
Listen to their comments below (caution: adult themes):
Entercom, the company that owns The Buzz, issued a statement Thursday announcing the firing and speaking out against Kimberly and Beck's claims.
"This morning Entercom fired Kimberly and Beck effective immediately. Their hateful comments against the transgender community do not represent our station or our company," Sue Munn, vice-president and general manager of Entercom, said in a statement. "We deeply apologize to the transgender community, the community of Rochester, and anyone else who was offended by their hateful comments."
The statement went on to say that the station is proud of its past work involving the LGBT community and that it remains committed to partnering with those in that community.
Reaction to the firing has been swift, strong and diverse.
While John Cullen, chair of the Pride Alliance at the University of Rochester, told the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper that Entercom's response "demonstrates that the station supports and affirms the LBGT community," others have First Amendment concerns.
"I don't like mean radio but as a broadcast professional the quickness of the firing and the quick opposition to them is concerning to me in regards to free speech," said Shannon Joy, a local radio host on WYSL.
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(H/T: Huffington Post)