The parent company of WWL-AM, the radio home of the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers, announced the conclusion of its internal investigation into an incident in early September where the station’s official Twitter account was used to direct a homophobic slur at one of its own sports hosts. To no one’s great surprise, the investigation evidently reached no useful conclusions, despite “the assistance of an external digital forensics firm” and the expenditure of “considerable internal resources.” Entercom, the radio giant parent company that runs WWL-AM, says the matter has now been turned over to “law enforcement.” From the WWL website:
“WWL has completed its investigation into the highly offensive, unauthorized tweet sent from WWL’s Twitter account on September 10, which directed a homophobic slur at Seth Dunlap,” Entercom Communications said in a release. “WWL conducted this investigation with the assistance of an external digital forensic firm and outside counsel, and expended considerable internal resources both in New Orleans and on our corporate staff.”
The company did not say what that probe revealed.
“We determined that the most appropriate next step is to involve law enforcement. At this point, the investigation is in the hands of law enforcement.”
The offensive tweet was fired off on September 10, and aimed at Seth Dunlap, the host of weeknight sports show The Last Lap with Seth Dunlap. Dunlap, who is gay, had recently penned a long and thoughtful open Facebook letter to Drew Brees, discussing Brees’s decision to partner up with gay conversion therapy sickos on a video promoting “Bring Your Bible To School Day.” Five days later, someone at WWL-AM used the station’s Twitter account to call Dunlap “a fag.”
Dunlap’s attorney, Megan Kiefer, released a statement Wednesday criticizing Entercom’s response to the incident, and characterizing their handling of this investigation as “concerning and, quite frankly, suspicious.” Dunlap, in an effort to supplement the investigation and establish an informal precedent, apparently “voluntarily submitted to a polygraph test administered by a certified and licensed expert polygraph examiner.” The results of that test were distributed to media along with Kiefer’s statement and, for whatever it’s worth, Dunlap passed. It’s a testament to how little progress was made via Entercom’s ultra-high-tech two-week investigation that this relatively silly result is as close as anyone has gotten to anything definitive.
Kiefer describes a culture at WWL-AM where “an anti-gay, bigoted, and hostile work environment” was allowed to flourish by the indifference of Entercom and “its corporate lawyers.” It sounds like Dunlap endured a lot of shitty treatment and daily misery at the station, and as a result a lawsuit is coming down the pike:
It is indisputable that this tweet was egregious and shocking; however, it is unsurprising. In the coming weeks, we will reveal the appalling history of discrimination Seth has experienced during his eight years at Entercom as an openly gay man. Once all of the evidence comes to light, the inescapable conclusion is that Entercom has allowed an anti-gay, bigoted, and hostile work environment to flourish, and that Entercom as well as its corporate lawyers were aware of instances of homophobia and discrimination and did nothing to protect Seth or its LGBTQ+employees. We will be preparing a lawsuit and complaint in the upcoming weeks that will discuss these instances in more detail.
The station did not name which branch of law enforcement would now be taking on the case, but the New Orleans Advocate reported that it’s in the hands of the New Orleans Police Department. WWL-AM concluded its statement Wednesday with an apology to “listeners, clients, partners, and employees,” without naming Dunlap specifically. According to Kiefer, Entercom still has not apologized to her client. Her statement is embedded below. If you know anything about what’s going on at WWL-AM or Entercom, get in touch here.