A homophobic note scrawled on a 7-year old girl’s birthday party invitation turned out to be a hoax.
The invitation was posted on K-98.3’s Facebook page, which allegedly showed an invitation for a party hosted by a girl’s gay dads. On the back of the invitation was a nasty note, which read, “I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’ I’m sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me.”
Two radio hosts in New York, however, eventually admitted that both the invitation and the reply were “fictitious” and apologized for the stunt.
Steve and Leeana of K-98.3 published an apology, which read:
Dear K-98.3 Listeners,
On Wednesday, we told you the story of Sophia’s birthday party, and one parent’s objection to the same-sex household of Sophia’s parents. We also posted the invitation on our Facebook page, and invited comments from our followers.
This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership.
We were attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic, but we made a mistake by misleading our listeners into thinking that this specific situation actually existed.
We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a ‘life of its own.’ We deeply apologize for violating your trust, and we will work hard to regain that trust.
Steve & Leeana
Angry listeners and readers have left comments on unrelated posts on the radio station’s Facebook page, which removed the original images. Many commenters have suggested the radio station is filtering and deleting comments about the incident.
On February 17, it was announced that the radio show hosts were suspended until further notice. GM/Market Manager Dave Widmer announced the suspension on the station’s Facebook page, writing, “After this aired, it was brought to K-98.3 management’s attention that all the details of the story were completely fabricated independently by Steve and Leeana. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership. The story, presented as a real event, was, in fact, fictitious. An internal investigation was quickly launched which has resulted in the immediate suspension of Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson from the K-98.3 Morning Show.”
What are your thoughts on this hoax and the suspension?
Updated February 17, 2014