WINNIPEG — About 50 people have protested outside a Winnipeg radio station calling for a morning radio host to be fired over what they say were racist, misogynistic and sexist videos posted to the station's website.
The station, 92 CITI-FM, issued an apology on air Tuesday and said morning radio host Dave Wheeler had been suspended over the videos, which were posted Monday.
Program director Craig Pfeifer said in a statement that the videos never should have been broadcast and an internal investigation has been launched, while Wheeler tweeted an apology and said the videos "were insensitive and went too far."
One video, a parody of the Beach Boys' song "California Girls" called "Transcona Girls," showed an animation depicting a woman with dark skin and lyrics saying "the North End daughters really like to stab you and steal your bike."
“Is this how they see women in our city?"
The song also referenced lesbians, promiscuous women and included vulgar sexual references.
Protest organizer Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie said she was shocked and hurt when she first saw the videos.
“I was really disgusted,” Lavoie said. “Is this how they see women in our city? Is this how they see people in the North End? I live in the North End, I don’t reflect on myself that way."
The other video, a parody of the John Denver song "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," mocked "North End boys" and the crime and poverty in the area.
"You can improve your ratings by doing things that build up the community and not tear it down."
Lavoie said the protest is an effort to show Winnipeggers there are people in the city who will stand up and tackle issues facing the community.
Winnipeg has spent the last year trying to address race relations after Maclean's magazine dubbed it the most racist city in Canada.
Indigenous activist Leslie Spillett said the videos only serve to deepen the divide between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.
"You can improve your ratings by doing things that build up the community and not tear it down," she said.