Sparks fly over ‘rape culture’ poll from Edmonton radio station
Published Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:03PM MDT Last Updated Thursday, April 10, 2014 7:27PM MDT
A controversial poll question from an Edmonton radio station sparked outrage on social media Thursday, with quick online responses coming from hundreds, including some Edmonton-area MLAs.
In a poll posted Thursday morning on the 630 CHED website, this question was posed to Edmontonians: “It’s very controversial but do you think victims of sexual assaults share any blame for what happens?”
Two responses were posted for the poll – one said “no – women should be able to dress, drink and walk as they choose without fear of being blamed” while the other said “yes – if women drink too much, dress too little or walk in harms way they put themselves at risk”.
The same question was also tweeted from the station’s Twitter account.
It wasn’t long before Twitter erupted with a backlash against the poll question from hundreds of Edmontonians, then local MLAs weighed in.
Thomas Lukaszuk, Edmonton-Castledowns MLA and Minister of Jobs, Skills Training and Labour first tweeted the radio station asking if their account had been hacked.
Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General also weighed in with his take on the question.
Hours after the tweet and poll went up – the radio station responded to the criticism with a series of tweets, citing a panel discussion about rape culture that took place earlier this week:
We're sorry. This morning, we tweeted a poll that lacked context. That was wrong, and people are understandably upset. (1/2)— 630CHED (@630CHED) April 10, 2014
A short time after that, 630 CHED brand director Syd Smith went on the air with an apology.
“I don't have much more to say than that. I am sorry, as a person responsible for the programming of the radio station, not only on-air but online, what we did, and the tweet that we sent out, was wrong,” Smith said in his address. “That question void of context would make me angry, coming from our station or another media outlet.”
Even after the apology, at least one advertiser with the station, the YWCA of Edmonton, said they had pulled ads from the radio station over the controversial poll question.
The question was also updated, with a reference to a panel that said blaming the victims of sexual assaults was still an issue - ulitmately, the poll was removed from the website at about 1:30 p.m.