Hitz FM releases short apology for "transphobic" video
Malaysian transgender activist Nisha Ayub is among many who slammed the local radio station for its tone-deaf video
Hitz FM is under fire for a now-deleted video portraying its DJs Arnold and RD gagging at the sight of a man, whom they initially assumed to be a woman. The radio station apologised for the video, which was uploaded on Wednesday as part of its #hitzSketch series.
"We at Hitz.fm would like to apologise for the said video, and have since removed it. Thank you," Hitz FM told The Malay Mail Online.
The sketch in question was captioned "When a pretty girl turns out to be a guy. Have you ever been so startled you feel like throwing up?" They even inserted the LOL emoji for good measure.
Many viewers criticised the video and accused it of being blatantly transphobic.
I took it to their Facebook page, just to rage in a slightly bigger bubble. pic.twitter.com/ktxzAn2soZ— shark wasangka ✊🏾 (@liy) September 21, 2017
Malaysian transgender activist Nisha Ayub also republished the video on her Facebook channel, writing "If you guys feel like vomiting, I feel disgusted knowing that you have such mentality. What kind of message you are trying to portray to the public? Are you saying [it's] ok for you perfect people to degrade others? Shame on you guys!!!"
Nisha, who is also known for being the first transgender woman to win the US Women of Courage award, elaborated her thoughts in another post.
It is not clear if the person RD was checking out was intended to be a transgender or not. He could have just been a man with long hair. Even so, RD and Arnold's reaction in the video suggests that the appearance of a slender body and long, flowy hair could only be female. For them to have been so repulsed that it was actually a man only reinforces the archaic gender conventions many are trying to fight today. Whatever the intended message was, surely Hitz FM and the team involved in making the video could have smelled backlash a mile away (this isn't the first example of 21st century tone-deafness). Why still make the video, then?
ELLE has reached out to Hitz FM, Arnold and RD for further comment.