By Sarah Klein
Tuesday April 12, 2016
Radio DJ Dave Wheeler Suspended After Controversial Videos
A popular Winnipeg radio personality has been suspended after two controversial music videos were posted to social media on Monday.
Dave Wheeler, host of “Wheeler in the Morning” on 92 CITI FM, was not on the air Tuesday after “Transcona Girls” and “North End Boy” were uploaded by the station to YouTube. Social media was quick to pounce, calling the videos “racist,” “sexist,” and offensive to the city’s indigenous community.
The songs accompanying the videos were created and originally aired two years ago, but the animation was recently produced. The content includes such lines as, “North End daughters really like to stab and steal your bike, and the Wolseley girls with their hairy pits, they keep their girlfriends warm at night.”
The other video includes this line: “Well there’s holes in the wall and blood stained red, I try to fall asleep but I got no bed, I go outside try not to end up dead, thank God I’m a North End boy.”
After a public uproar, 92 CITI FM said in a tweet that as per their program director’s wishes, the videos were removed.
Wheeler issued an apology Tuesday morning, as read by his co-host Rena.
“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,” his statement said.
“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.”
A Facebook group has organized a protest outside of the radio station in Osborne Village for 1 p.m. today and calls for Wheeler’s termination. A YouTube channel called “Fire Dave Wheeler” has also re-uploaded the videos for people to see since they were taken down from the station’s page.
The Two Youtube Videos described above have been taken down.
Wheeler is a good guy but made a mistake. After the Dean blundell disaster in Toronto I am sure no radio station will take chances keeping someone if there is a big uproar. Rogers would be wise to make sure they protect there asses with this situation.
Way to insult the people who live in your community. What the hell was this guy thinking?
Ever watch Tosh.0? Now that stuff is funny and TEN TIMES worse than this. Offensive? Sure. Shocking? uh-huh. But at least he took a risk. He rolled the dice. It may come up in his favor and it may not. In the end he doesn’t work for himself but rather a large media company, and that company will ultimately decide. But it reveals yet another reason why radio is in trouble. “Caller 9 wins some free donuts and up next another knock knock joke”. Wow. Aren’t we creative.
Here’s the funny thing: These songs were released over 2 years ago and played on their show – multiple times, I’m guessing – at that time. And anyone accusing Wheeler of racism needs to remember that this is the same guy who went after Maclean’s Magazine (a Rogers property) after they published an article declaring Winnipeg the most racist city in Canada.
This so-called “outrage” will pass in the usual social media cycle…within 36-48 hours everyone will forget all about it.
The parody tracks have been bits on his show for nearly two years. People call in and request them to be played… The videos get posted and some folks picked up their pitch forks and torches to go take down Dave Wheeler. Social media wise, I’ve seen more people defending him than condemning him.
If I had to critize the videos, the look like garbage. The animation is pretty bad, not something that should rep the brand. That’s the only mistake Dave made.
Dave has the entire industry talking. This attention can’t be bought. Some US news sites are now carrying the story and my US pals are doing an “eye roll”. If Rogers dumps him, and he wants to head south, any major market US station will take him in a heartbeat. This is the most attention Winnipeg radio has got since Tom and Larry. Or maybe Brother Jake.
Political correctness aside it seems like you are giving the finger to your listeners or at the very least people in your own community. Maybe a parody of say Brandon Girls? Maybe it’s something you’d get actually living in Canada’s biggest small town. Listening to the parody I didn’t crack a smile. I guess you gotta be there or not.
If he was protesting the MacLean’s article I think he missed the point.
@BLT: As a born and bred Winnipegger, who spent the first 24 years of his life living in the ‘Peg, I can tell you that everyone in Winnipeg mocks Transcona. Even people who live in Transcona mock Transcona. As I said earlier, this is outrage for the sake of outrage. It’ll blow over and go down as one of the greatest ratings stunts in Winnipeg radio history (right up there with Scruff Connors’ trip to Miami – Manitoba – to watch the Superbowl).