LA Radio’s “The Woody Show” Fat-Shames for Fun and Profit

What a Load of CrapThe Woody Show, the morning show on LA radio Alt 98.7, has a regular segment called “Fat Chick/Skinny Chick.” According to Allison Ficht, who blogged about this for the Ms. Magazine Blog:

The game starts with the DJs asking the participant a series of questions, and then filing the answers under a “fat” or “skinny” column. During one show, for example, they rationalized that if you’re married, you’re more likely to be skinny, while if you feel confident with your oral sex skills, you’re probably fat, since skinny girls “won’t do that stuff.” Listeners then text in their votes (fat or skinny) and the DJs open a picture of the participant and reveal whether they guessed “correctly

Charming. Who doesn’t want to wake up, turn on a show that says they  “talk about the things that are important to all of us” and hear tired stereotyping and fat-shaming being pedaled as entertainment. Oh, right, me. I don’t want to wake up to that.  And neither does Allison who contacted the show:

I emailed the producer and strongly suggested the station take it off the air. As a graduate student in the public health field who actively works to reduce stigmas, this show only perpetuates them. What does the impressionable 15-year-old girl, who might not be the skinniest, think after she listens to this? Does she need to start giving oral sex in order to get a boy to like her? Should she stop eating if she ever wants to get married? My email included questions like these, and urged the producers to use their show to encourage healthy lifestyles rather than perpetuate negative stereotypes about women.

So of course they got back to her, thanked her for her concern and said that they would make a stab a programming that is just a little less stigma and prejudice-based.  Just kidding!

At work the next day, I received an onslaught of texts from friends telling me to turn on the radio: The show was responding to my email on-air. The responses included the following: “Go make me some bacon and eggs”; “Get the fuck out”; “You’re either on-board with this kind of humor and take things with a grain of salt … or you’re not allowed to listen anymore”; “I’m not going to apologize for having the lowest common denominator simple kind of fun”; “Get that stick out of there”, and my personal favorite, “How do people like Allison get through life if they can’t understand nuance, subtlety and tone?” “The Woody Show” DJs further responded by posting to their Twitter account a screenshot of a Facebook post—from my private account—in which I express my frustration with the segment. The post exposed my full name and photo, and prompted the show’s followers to berate me for calling out their distorted idea of “fun.”

Ah, the old “Can’t you take a (mean-spirited, adding to the culture of oppression that you deal with everyday) joke?  As many of us have explained many times (like to George Takei, repeatedly) we can take a joke. but we shouldn’t have to – it’s seriously messed up that people feel so comfortable telling groups of people that they need to “toughen up” and become better at being stigmatized and made fun of without complaint, so that other people can laugh at our expense without having to feel badly or have their bullying behavior pointed out.

There are actions you can take, but regardless remember that this is bullshit, you are not the problem, radio shows that engage in stereotyping/bullying are the problem. Here are some activism options, and thanks to reader Brook let me know about this nonsense.

Sign Allison’s Petition

Contact The Woody Show on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWoodyShow

Contact The Woody Show on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/thewoodyshow/

Check out Allison’s excellent blog about this 

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Published in: on December 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm  Comments (11)  

11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Why not include complaining to the FCC here as well?

    Our tax dollars regulate the public airwaves. FCC is supposed to
    encourage ” the highest and best use of spectrum domestically and internationally” of the airwaves. Certainly there is better use of the airwaves than this sort of thing.

    https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/202756670-Call-In-or-Shock-Jock-Programs

    (scroll down for the link to file an on-line complaint)

  2. Morning radio “shock jock DJs” shows are still a thing that exists? Huh.

  3. I’ve long hated The Woody Show and refuse to listen during my morning commute. They are 100% misogynistic bigots. This isn’t the only segment that’s been completely offensive to women – basically everything I’ve ever heard them say is 1. mean spirited toward anyone who isn’t *them* and 2. not funny at all.

  4. Actually this show premise has a lot of potential… someone should do a show called “Big dick/Little dick” in which the size of a man’s manhood is judged based on a series of questions, like “Do you enjoy spouting misogynistic stereotypes and then get aggressively offended when someone calls you out on it?” (Definitely little dick.)

    Yes, I know turning these kinds of tactics back at the perpetrators is counterproductive, but it would still be satisfying to see how these people react to a taste of their own medicine, and how well they can “take a joke.”

    • That’s pretty transphobic, though, and bodyshaming. Why is having a small penis a bad thing that men should feel ashamed of?

      • It’s not something that men *should* be ashamed of, because most sexual partners don’t care about the size, but about the technique, including being generous and caring for your lover.

        However, thanks to toxic masculinity and body shaming, in general, penis size is something that many men *are* ashamed of, and that they lie about. Even men with larger-than-average penises will lie and claim it’s bigger, in order to impress people who don’t give a hoot about it, anyway, or to impress other men, who think it’s some sort of competition, or that it actually has any real impact on a man’s status, or indeed, his masculinity, at all.

        This “back at ya” show would be very hurtful to a lot of men, even though the issue is exactly the same: Making fun of stereotypes about size (either the whole body, or a body part) that is completely irrelevant, anyway.

        I vote No.

        These guys wouldn’t get the point, but they’d raise a ruckus about it, and it would just make them even more aggressive to anyone who spoke about their original show, in the first place. They’ve already posted personal information about this journalist. Who know what they, or their devoted/misogynistic fans might do. Doxxing is horrible, and they’ve already taken the first step.

  5. What shitbags! Petition signed and complaint filed🙂

  6. “nuance, subtlety and tone” – I think the Woody Show don’t understand those three words.

    • That had me scratching my head, too. I hate when pseudo-intellectualism is used to justify wrongdoing/oppression. There’s nothing nuanced or subtle about fat-shaming.

      • Apparently, their nuance and tone are too subtle for anyone to see, without a microscope.

        • I can see those things.

          Nuance: While their segment is overtly fat-shaming, a close look at nuance reveals its misogyny, as it reduces all women to sex objects for men, and sets them up to be judged on body size (a conveniently moving target), and throws a few insults at skinny women as well as fat ones (eg., skinny women are prudes who are bad at oral sex and shy away from many sexual techniques).

          Tone: Underneath the schoolyard meanness, we find a bedrock of more adult misogynistic hate and objectification.

          Also, Subtlety: Abso-fucking-lutely none at all.

          Given that, what I don’t see is any valid point the show made in their defense by bringing up those criterion.


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