WWL Radio facing backlash over homophobic tweet directed at their own host

WWL Radio facing backlash after tweeting homophobic slur to their own host

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - In a tweet sent out to WWL Radio’s 33,000 followers, someone on the station’s own account directed a homophobic slur to Seth Dunlap -- one of their own hosts.

In his own tweet Wednesday (Sept. 11), Dunlap addressed the issue and said he will not be participating in his own show, “Last Lap With Seth Dunlap," that night.

“Being yourself has never been more important. The hate that has infected our society threatens to tear us apart from the inside out. I’m overwhelmed, but I’m also very proud of who I am and the life I live," Dunlap wrote. "I’ll be taking tonight off from the show to reflect and decompress.”

In a Facebook post last week, Dunlap wrote to Drew Brees about his controversial relationship with the group Focus on the Family. Brees has faced criticism after he shared a promotional video linked to the group -- which identifies itself as an organization that opposes same sex marriage.

“His video and his reaction was hurtful to many people, including me, an openly gay man,” Dunlap wrote.

After the Saints’ game Monday, Dunlap -- in his role as a sports journalist -- tweeted a link of the story he wrote about the game and asked his followers for reaction to the win.

That’s when the homophobic tweet, posted from his employers own account, was posted.

Although it was quickly deleted, many followers captured images of the tweet and did not hesitate to share them -- including Nick Underhill of The Athletic.

There was plenty of reaction on Twitter, including tweets from local sports journalists like Larry Holder, also of The Athletic, who tweeted “this is disgusting and WWL AM/FM needs to provide an explanation, Now!”

About five hours after the initial tweet was posted, the radio station acknowledged the situation calling it “categorically offensive and abhorrent." They said the station is investigating the tweet and will “take swift and appropriate action.”

While Dunlap has not returned FOX 8′s calls for comment, in the beginning of his radio show Tuesday night -- mere hours after the ordeal began -- he spoke about the power of sports bringing everyone together.

“White, Black, Latino, men, women, straight, gay, nobody cared,” Dunlap said. "If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to be part of something like that, it could be a truly religious experience and that togetherness is what makes sports so special to me.

WWL Radio did not respond to FOX 8′s request for comment Wednesday.

Human rights group offers diversity training to WWL Radio after homophobic tweet sparks controversy

Attorney and former chair for the forum of equality, Chris Otten said they’ve offered to host a diversity training session at the radio station with all employees.

“Diversity training doesn’t necessarily change the hearts and mind of employees, but it does send the message that hatred bigotry will not be tolerated,” Otten said.

As of Wednesday night, it remained unknown who or what may be responsible for the tweet, but Otten said as a media company with a social media presence, there are security steps the radio station needs to take right now.

“It can be as simple as an insecure password that someone guessed, it could have been hacking, we don’t know what happened. It could be a former employee who had access and was mad about something,” Otten said.

FOX 8 obtained a copy of an internal memo to Entercom employees regarding the tweet.

It said the tweet is a breach of the company’s policy and ethics, and said he spoke directly with Dunlap to apologize.

At the time of the memo, the company indicated it still do not know who may have been behind the tweet.

As far as Brees controversial video, he said he was not aware of Focus on the Family’s anti LGBTQ views and he does not support those beliefs.

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