Prizm News / September 12, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

Columbus TV personality issues apology for anti-trans remarks at LGBTQ gathering, vows to ‘earn your forgiveness.’

 

By Bob Vitale

The Columbus meteorologist and TV news anchor who welcomed “things and its” to a gathering LGBTQ journalists last weekend issued a written apology today and promised to use this experience “to learn from and listen to transgender, nonbinary and gender non-conforming people in our community.”

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Marshall McPeek, the chief meteorologist for WSYX-TV and a fixture on Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo television for 25 years, addressed his apology to “our global LGBTQ community” and drew on his own experiences as an openly gay man to call his comments “ill-thought-out and highly insensitive.”

To NLGJA members and our global LGBTQ community:I sincerely apologize to everyone who was hurt or impacted by my…

Posted by Marshall McPeek on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

 

At a social gathering last Saturday in Palm Springs, Calif., of the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, formerly the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, McPeek opened his remarks by welcoming “ladies and gentlemen, things and its.” His comments were immediately criticized within the hotel ballroom, quickly shared on social media, and roundly criticized in the days since as hurtful, demeaning and transphobic.

McPeek’s comments have been denounced by TransOhio (“harmful, hurtful and hateful”), Stonewall Columbus (“completely unacceptable”), NLGJA (“inappropriate”), and his employer (“hurtful and offensive”).

TransOhio is outraged by the harmful, hurtful and hateful statements made by Marshall McPeek at a nationally televised…

Posted by TransOhio on Monday, September 10, 2018

 

In his letter, McPeek said he realized his mistake the instant he made the comment.

McPeek, who has hosted numerous LGBTQ community events in Columbus, also said he has felt the same sting from others that he inflicted on transgender, gender nonconforming and nonbinary people with his words.

“As a gay man, I have been on the receiving end of hateful words and judging glances, especially while being ‘out’ in high-profile positions in television news. So, I am especially saddened by the irony that my poor choice of words has hurt others in the same way.”

He vowed to learn from the experience and asked people to “allow me to earn your forgiveness.”

The entire letter today reads:

To NLGJA members and our global LGBTQ community:

I sincerely apologize to everyone who was hurt or impacted by my ill-thought-out and highly insensitive comment during the closing of the 2018 NLGJA convention on Saturday. While on stage, I failed to be thoughtful about my word choices and realize it is the impact that matters. The instant the words were out of my mouth, I realized it was an egregious error in judgment. I fully understand that my comments were hurtful and insensitive and I am deeply sorry for the pain they have caused. Those thoughtless remarks have tarnished my relationship with an organization that I have cherished for more than 20 years.

As a gay man, I have been on the receiving end of hateful words and judging glances, especially while being “out” in high-profile positions in television news. So, I am especially saddened by the irony that my poor choice of words has hurt others in the same way.

I am hopeful that the spotlight shining on my mistake can highlight for everyone, both in and beyond the LGBTQ community, just how important it is to be mindful of people’s experiences different from your own. Perhaps we will all give greater consideration to how our words make people feel and be especially aware of terms that misgender or disregard how others wish to be identified.

I plan to seek out meaningful ways in which I can use this experience to learn from and listen to transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people in our community who often face violence and marginalization, in hopes of fostering greater understanding and acceptance.

I hope that you can find it in your hearts to understand my humanness, accept my heartfelt apology, and allow me to earn your forgiveness.

Most Sincerely,

Marshall McPeek 

bobvitale@prizmnews.com
@Bob_Vitale

Bob Vitale
Bob Vitale is the editor of Prizm. A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, he has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Contact: BobVitale@prizmnews.com