Time will tell whether or not Steven Seagal really moonlights as a sex trafficker. But while we're waiting for the outcome of this case, it goes without saying that sex slavery is no laughing matter, right? Apparently not: Shane French, a.k.a. Rover of Rover's Morning Glory in Columbus, OH, seems to think it's hilarious and recently praised Seagal on his radio show, calling the actor a "hero" and "the man."
The oh-so-witty banter over this topic continued, wherein Rover and his co-hosts fantasized about taking in their own sex slaves. When a female co-host observed that what they were discussing was illegal, the response was, "Who would tell? The slut?"
Next, a state-chapter member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) called in to point out that their subject of mockery was called human trafficking, and their unfunny approach failed to respect human beings. Morning Glory's response? Talking loudly amongst themselves over the NASW member and finally saying, "Someone needs to shove something in your month and exploit you. Thanks for calling ... " Click.
It's a fine line between humor and harm. At a time in our country, our world, where the collective attitude toward slavery is blindness and indifference, where millions continue to suffer physical and emotional trauma daily because of that blindness and indifference? The sort of jokes that applaud sex slavery aren't just tasteless, they can be downright damaging.
Not only was Morning Glory's audience taught to ignore human trafficking issues the morning of that broadcast, they were taught to believe it's funny to enslave a human being. And that's a giant step backward for all of us, especially Ohio, whose residents — let's be honest — shouldn't be laughing about human trafficking at all.
Tell Clear Channel to take the issue of human trafficking seriously and apologize for Rover's mockery and promotion of sex slavery.
Photo credit: Ctd 2005
At a time in our country and world, where millions of trafficked individuals suffer physical and emotional trauma due to a collective attitude of blindness and indifference, the sort of jokes that applaud sex slavery aren't just tasteless, they are downright damaging. Not only was Morning Glory's audience taught to ignore human trafficking issues the morning of that broadcast, they were taught to believe it's funny to enslave a human being.
It's important for Clear Channel to acknowledge that Rover's broadcast lauding sex slavery was unacceptable. Perpetuating misogynistic and violent attitudes toward women isn't funny, and neither is framing sex trafficking as anything other than a serious crime. An on-air apology from Rover and his co-hosts is in order, as well as a formal statement of apology on the "Morning Glory" website.
As a concerned citizen and consumer of Clear Channel's national radio broadcast company, I feel that formal apologies by the "Morning Glory" staff will help undo some of the damage caused by the broadcast and help inform Ohio listeners that sex trafficking is a serious and relevant issue that should not be mocked.
Thank you for your time and attention,