by Rex Wockner
The Quebec Press Council has denounced two TV broadcasters who made fun of skater Johnny Weir during the Vancouver Olympics.
Sportscasters Alain Goldberg and Claude Mailhot said on air that Weir hurts figure skating’s image and should take a gender test or maybe compete in women’s events. “They’ll think all the boys who skate will end up like him,” Goldberg said. “It sets a very bad example. … We should make him pass a gender test at this point.”
The council’s ruling stated: “The council is aware that Mr. Mailhot and Mr. Goldberg diligently made on-air apologies following the incident. However, it cannot ignore the gravity of the error they have committed and therefore addresses the grievance. (The council) directs severe blame at Mr. Claude Mailhot and Mr. Alain Goldberg for having shown contempt, having harmed the dignity of the figure skater, Mr. Johnny Weir, and having made discriminatory remarks against him.”
The decision has no effect other than tarnishing the broadcasters’ images.
“We are happy … to see that the QPC recognized the severity of the error,” said Steve Foster, president of the Quebec Council of Gays and Lesbians, which had filed a complaint with the QPC. “These radio announcers showed disrespect not only to the integrity of the athlete but also to the integrity of gays and heterosexuals that do not correspond to the social stereotypes of masculinity and femininity.”