WINNIPEG – Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler has been suspended over two controversial videos posted online.
Wheeler tweeted the release of his video “Transcona Girls” Monday evening. Shortly after, it was removed along with another video of his called “North End Boy.”
The songs were created two years ago, but reposted as animated videos on Tuesday.
Wheeler is the host of ‘Wheeler in the Morning’ on 92 CITI FM. He was not hosting the show Tuesday morning, and his co-hosts addressed his absence, reading Wheeler’s apology on-air.
“I want to apologize to all our loyal viewers, listeners and the city of Winnipeg for our two videos posted online yesterday. They were insensitive and went too far. We love our city, we live and work here like all of you. I never meant to offend the great people of Winnipeg, for that I am truly sorry,” the statement read.
“Everyday we try and entertain our audiences, but sometimes it can go too far, and that’s what happened yesterday. There comes a point when something intended as a joke just isn’t funny. Our community has gone through a lot and called a lot of things.
The best thing we can do right now as a community is come together and build each other up. We have heard the concerns of our community clearly and apologize for the videos that were offensive and in poor taste.”
The apology statement was followed by his co-host adding, “let’s just say we don’t take this whole situation lightly.”
The length of the suspension was not disclosed.
Wheeler also tweeted out an apology.
A Facebook group called “Protest Dave Wheeler’s Racism and Sexism” was created in reaction to the videos. A protest is expected at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday outside of the station’s building on Osborne Street, demanding the termination of the radio host for the comments.
The videos also created a heated debate online.
During an interview last year on his show with Maclean’s writer Nancy MacDonald, Wheeler said Winnipeg isn’t a racist city. The interview focused on the the article, “Welcome to Winnipeg: Where Canada’s racism problem is at its worst.”
“To blanket Winnipeg as a racist city, it’s really hard to comprehend,” he said during that interview.