The host of “Wheeler in the Morning” made the comments on Monday comparing transgender people to actors who “pretend to be different things.” Wheeler was suspended on Tuesday and Rogers Media has since ended its relationship with him.
“This week, radio host Dave Wheeler chose to use his platform at 92.1 CITI in Winnipeg to articulate views that are both deeply hurtful and damaging, and we sincerely apologize,” the station said in a statement.
“There have been multiple disciplinary incidents, and in spite of numerous conversations, he has continued to offend our audiences. As a result, we have ended our relationship with him and he is no longer with the company, effective immediately. This type of behaviour contradicts our standards and our core values, where diversity and inclusion are paramount.”
Wheeler made the comments while discussing actor Scarlett Johansson‘s decision to withdraw from her role in the upcoming film “Rub and Tug.” She faced severe backlash amid the decision to play a trans man.
The comments triggered several advertisers to distance themselves from 92.1 CITI, including The Gates on Roblin and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, among others.
Wheeler was suspended in 2016 when two controversial music videos surfaced online titled “Transcona Girls” and “North End Boy.” He apologized for the content and later returned to the air.
A Rogers spokesperson tells ChrisD.ca that Rena Jae, Dave Turnbull, and Kelly Butler will remain with the morning show.
“The morning show has been renamed “Mornings with Rena, Turnbull, and Kelly Butler” and additional details will be announced in the coming weeks,” a statement said.