Two US radio hosts who forged a homophobic response to a child’s birthday party invitation have been suspended.
An image of the invitation went viral after the New York based radio station K-98.3 shared it on its Facebook page.
Steve Harper and co-host, Leeana at the weekend announced that it was a hoax.
In a statement, the pair said: “This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership. We were attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic, but we made a mistake by misleading our listeners into thinking that this specific situation actually existed.”
“We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a ‘life of its own. We deeply apologize for violating your trust, and we will work hard to regain that trust.”
David Widmer, general manager of Connoisseur Media Long Island announced that the pair were suspended “until further notice”.
He said he was distressed that the two were being portrayed as homophobic, but that the station was still talking to community groups following the incident.
“We’re working with the gay and lesbian community to straighten that out.” he said.
“Steve and Leeana are extreme supporters of acceptance, tolerance and anti-bullying, and both have very strong, positive views on same-sex marriage.”