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WBZA Rochester Morning Hosts Fired For Transgender Hate Comments

Kimberly Rae Brian Beck 98.9 The Buzz WBZA Rochester Transgender BenefitsEntercom has fired Rock “98.9 The Buzz” WBZA Rochester morning hosts Kimberly Rae and Barry Beck following comments against the city’s new medical benefits for transgendered employees.

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 comments. We are proud of our past work on behalf of the local LGBT community and we remain committed to that partnership.

The issue stemmed from Rae stating, “The services that will be paid for under the new coverage: gender reassignment surgery, psychological counseling, because you’re probably a nut job to begin with, that’s my opinion, hormone therapy, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.”

The duo were initially suspended following the comments, which led to Rae doubling-down by tweeting to a since deleted account “Freedom of Speech includes the freedom to offend others. You aren’t granted a right to not be offended in this life #getoverit #ROC”.

The duo had just returned from a previous suspension earlier in the week. Audio of the offending segment can be heard here:

https://soundcloud.com/am2pmboi/city-employees-get-trans-insurance

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

8 Comments

  1. Profile photo of saltydog


    ““Freedom of Speech includes the freedom to offend others. You aren’t granted a right to not be offended in this life #getoverit #ROC”.”

    And as he found out, he’s not granted a right to work for Entercom. It’s amazing how many people don’t understand that the First Amendment says that it’s the government that can’t limit our speech. It begins “Congress shall make no law…”

  2. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    The example I give is someone hired as a greeter at Walmart who greets customers,. “Welcome to Walmart. F— you.” He’s told not to do it, still does it, and is fired. They have the right to do this. Freedom of speech does indeed allow you to offend others, but don’t be surprised if your employer takes issue with what you say. You’re welcome to go to another store, or another radio station, if you wind up getting fired for what you say, if they don’t mind allowing you to say things like this.

  3. Profile photo of Beachguy


    Tolerance goes only one way these days.

  4. Profile photo of Cory


    I wonder if Fox will pick them up ala Juan Williams….

  5. Profile photo of notdarth


    Oh my non-existent god! How DARE anybody say anything that`’`s not Certified Politically Correct™`…` it`’`d be the downfall of human civilisation as we know it!

  6. Profile photo of notdarth


    (continued)

    Seriously though, people need to get over themselves. +100 what Beachguy said above. Everybody is entitled to their opinions regardless of how you may presonally feel about it. And sometimes it’ll hurt, so wear a cup. That’s why they’re called “opinions”.

    Humanity needs to stop taking itself so seriously.

    • Profile photo of saltydog


      I think people are overly sensitive. What Juan Williams said, and what Mark Cuban said the other day, were that they feel a certain way when approached by people who are stereotypes of bad guys. They weren’t defending their thoughts, only admitting they had them. There should be no offense taken.

      Calling candidates for sex-reassignment surgery “nutjobs” takes it to a whole other level. They are apparently too uneducated to know that these aren’t people who just want a penis or vagina on a whim.

  7. Profile photo of K.M. Richards


    Here’s where I find Kimberly and Beck insincere, still.

    After their suspension, their tweet was along the lines of “we have the right to free speech, too bad if you’re insulted”. I was more insulted by the tone of that tweet than anything else.

    NOW it’s “we’re sorry”. Sure, now that it cost you your jobs and are going to have a tough time finding your next gig under the circumstances.

    If that tweet had shown any signs of remorse, they’d emerge humbled but relatively unscathed. What PD is going to seriously consider hiring them now?

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