Vancouver 2010: Johnny Weir has a message for RDS sportscasters
Even though Olympic figure-skater Johnny Weir appeared to shrug off 'homophobic' remarks made about him last week during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics by sports commentators from Austrailian Channel Nine presenters and French-Canadian sportscasters for the RDS Network, Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg, Johnny Weir has a message for Mailhot and Goldberg who suggested the Olympics ought to force the skater to "take a gender test"--"think twice before they speak in the future,...".
The flamboyant skater told reporters Wednesday he wants the sportscasters to “think twice before they speak in the future,” but he said he isn’t interested in apologies.
Weir said he found the comments “offensive” but that they didn’t matter much to him. He did say he worried about what effect such comments might have on kids and other athletes.
The Quebec Gay and Lesbian Council called the remarks ''outrageous'' and ''homophobic'' and has demanded a public apology.
The group had said last week it planned to file a complaint about the matter to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, an independent organization created by Canada's English and French private broadcasters to administer on-air standards and monitor the industry.
RDS sportscasters Mailhot and Goldberg issued an on-air public apology. RDS also issued a statement following the incident, but the 'mea culpas' are insufficient according to Council President Steve Foster.
"All discriminatory statements, or those appearing discriminatory, have neither a place in society nor in media," it said.
"Mr. Mailhot and Mr. Goldberg made tactless comments on the appearance and manner of a figure skater. As soon as they were made aware of the reaction their comments sparked, and because they never meant to defame an individual or a sexual orientation, they decided to offer an apology."
But the mea culpas are insufficient, according to Council president Steve Foster.
"They only apologized for the comments they made on his outfit," he said Saturday. "We hadn't even asked for an apology for those remarks. It's the rest of the comments: on his masculinity, his femininity, the fact he should skate as a woman."
When Foster got in touch with RDS, he says he was told not to expect any further public apologies from Mailhot or Goldberg. So he decided to launch the official complaint to the broadcast council, an independent organization created by Canada's English and French private broadcasters to administer on-air standards.
"It's sad, remarks like these," said Foster. "It stops elite athletes from coming out of the closet because they don't want to be ridiculed on a public platform."
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