A Louisiana radio station has fired a gay host and accused him of using the station’s Twitter account to hurl a slur at himself.
Talk show host Seth Dunlap has denied commandeering WWL Radio’s account to deliver a feigned homophobic attack, reports The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. Station representatives say Dunlap then filed a workplace harassment claim and demanded a settlement of nearly $2 million.
The controversial Twitter exchange took place in September, as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees drew national criticism for appearing in a video produced by anti-LGBTQ group Focus on the Family. Dunlap published an open letter to Brees, identifying himself as “a gay man who has worked nearly two decades in the sports media industry.”
Shortly after that, Dunlap in a separate Twitter discussion had a reply from the official WWL Radio account saying “you’re a fag.” OutSports published a screen-cap of the since-deleted tweet, and reports WWL conducted an investigation to find the source of the tweet. Dunlap, meanwhile, took a leave of absence and released another public letter offering an explanation.
“While I had developed emotional armor throughout my life, that armor was shattered earlier this week when my sexuality became the focus of local and national news headlines as a result of a hateful and homophobic Twitter attack from the official Twitter account of my employer.”
But the WWL Radio internal investigation found the tweet originated from the IP address associated with Dunlap’s cell phone. The station reported the matter to the New Orleans Police Department, which is continuing an extortion investigation.
Dunlap’s attorney, Megan Kiefer, maintains Dunlap did not send the tweet, and says her client has passed a lie detector test. She said Dunlap welcomes the investigation and expects it to clear his name.
She also said the matter was only reported to police after Dunlap turned down a settlement offer for a low amount.