Hitz FM says sorry for “transphobic” video sketch

Hitz FM has apologised over a video sketch which had angered some netizens, with some saying it could promote negative perception against the transgender community in Malaysia. Owned by Astro, the popular radio station posted a video on its Facebook yesterday, but has since taken down the controversial content.

In the short sketch, Hitz FM’s morning crew deejays Arnold Loh and RD (Ryan De Alwis) were seen crossing paths and checking out someone, presumably an attractive long-haired lady, but the person turned out to be transgendered. Both DJs were seen vomiting upon seeing her, because they had mistaken the person to be female.

Despite the fact that the video is no longer available on its official pages, savvy internet users have managed to download and repost it on Twitter and Facebook, with some calling it “transphobic” in nature.

“We at Hitz would like to apologise for the said video, and have since removed it,” a spokesperson from Hitz FM told A+M.

Transgender activist Nisha Ayub was among those who condemned the said video. Ayub expressed that she’s sad to see that the transgender community in Malaysia which already faces much discrimination, potential violence and hate crimes, now having the media jumping on the bandwagon to perpetuate such messages. She added it could be a joke to the radio station, but the “joke could also effect someone else’s life”.

Below are some of the posts by netizen expressing disappointment, circulating on Twitter:

Astro Radio said earlier this year it remains the most popular radio network in Malaysia, with 15.6 million listeners every week accumulatively through its nine brands. This makes up 77.8% of Malaysia’s radio-listening audience. It added that Hitz FM, ERA fm, MY fm and THR Raaga are once again the No.1 radio brands in their respective language. The network has gained over 13.4 million social media fans, with its nine radio stations gathering digital listenership of over 17 million streaming sessions.

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