News (USA)

N.Y. radio hosts suspended over homophobic parent hoax

N.Y. radio hosts suspended over homophobic parent hoax

NEW YORK — Two Long Island radio personalities have been suspended over an on-air hoax about a homophobic parent.

Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson
Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson
Hoax party invitation
Hoax party invitation

David Widmer, general manager of Connoisseur Media Long Island, the station’s owner, told Newsday that Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson of Farmingdale’s WKJY/93.3 FM were suspended this weekend.

He says the station is dealing with various community groups and gay rights organizations about the incident, but said that Harper and Karlson were supportive of same-sex marriage.

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Last week, the two hosts of “The K98.3 Morning Show” described a 7th birthday party invitation by a Baldwin child named “Sophia.” It purportedly was returned to her two fathers by a mother who wrote on it: “Tommy will NOT attend. 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.”

WKJY posted the invitation on the station’s Facebook page with the caption, “Do you think she was right to write this?”

The story quickly went viral, being reported and repeatedly referenced on gay-oriented blogs, websites and Facebook pages.

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A phone number the “mother” had included on the invite went to a voice mail that a station spokeswoman said had received “well over 2,000 messages before it was taken down.”

Harper and Karlson posted remarks on the station’s website Monday, saying the story was fictitious and apologizing for the stunt.

Editor’s note: LGBTQ Nation did not run the initial story, in keeping with our policy of not publishing anonymous letters posted online.

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