Radio station draws flak over ‘transphobia’ video

Nisha posted a screen grab of the hitz.fm sketch featuring two of the station’s deejays accompanied by a caption that read: 'When a pretty girl turns out to be a guy. Have you ever been so startled you feel like throwing up?' — Facebook screengrab
Nisha posted a screen grab of the hitz.fm sketch featuring two of the station’s deejays accompanied by a caption that read: 'When a pretty girl turns out to be a guy. Have you ever been so startled you feel like throwing up?' — Facebook screengrab

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Prominent transgender activist Nisha Ayub has lashed out at Hitz.fm, suggesting the popular radio station is transphobic after it posted a video online featuring a negative reaction towards a character depicted as a trans woman.

On her Facebook page last night, the co-founder of Seed Foundation and Justice for Sisters posted a screen grab of the hitz.fm sketch featuring two of the station’s deejays accompanied by a caption that read: “When a pretty girl turns out to be a guy. Have you ever been so startled you feel like throwing up?”

“Shame on you Hitz Fm. Are you guys Transphobia? Are you guys encouraging bullying and hatred to people that has different gender identity or expression? What kind of message are you ‘perfect people’ bringing to your listeners?

“Do you so called ‘perfect people’ know the impact of your discriminative video towards the community coming from all age, race or religion?” Nisha wrote.

She also urged her followers to share the posting if they cared.

The original video posting has been removed from hitz.fm’s social media accounts. However, some internet users have saved the video and reproduced it on their personal accounts.

In the clip, hitz.fm’s Morning Crew deejays Arnold Loh and Ryan De Alwis, better known as RD, are seen crossing paths with a long-haired person who is viewed from the back.

Arnold then encourages RD, who is still a bachelor, to approach the long-haired person. The deejays are then shown vomitting after long-haired person turns around and speaks in a masculine voice.

In her critical posting, Nisha said the transgender community in Malaysia have already become targets of hate crimes and did not need any further negative messages to reinforce violent discrimination towards their community.

She reminded the radio station that “it could be a joke to you” but that it could negatively affect someone else’s life.

As at the time of writing, Nisha's Facebook update has received over 250 responses and 64 shares. More than 30 comments were similarly critical of the hitz.fm sketch. Some said they would boycott the radio station.

Facebook user William Ng, commenting on Nisha’s Facebook page, said hitz.fm should apologise and explain the skit to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

“You owe the LGBTQ community an explanation. You do not deserve my respect and I will stop listening to your station from now on.

“It is sad that a radio station that claims to be ‘Number 1 Hits Station in Malaysia’ does not vet the contents before publishing it,” he wrote.

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