Toronto Diary
15 min

Shock-jock Dean Blundell says he’s not a homophobe

Earlier this week, Dean Blundell of The Edge 102.1 was let go by Corus Entertainment, which wanted to go “in a new direction in 2014.” Now, Blundell is defending himself against critics who have called him a homophobe.

In a statement posted to his website, Blundell told his side of the story, saying “[L]et me state unequivocally that I am not a homophobe.”

Blundell further backed up his support of the LGBT community, saying that “Over the 13 years I have been live on the radio, I consistently had guests on from the LGBT community. I did not discriminate on my show . . . I have always been supportive of my gay friends, and of the gay community.”

He signed off his post by thanking everyone who had supported him in his 13 years on the air.

In all fairness to Blundell, he was paid — for more than a decade! — to push boundaries. Shock jokes aren’t for everyone, but that brand of humour at its best serves as a sort of litmus test for how far society is willing to go in terms of humour, and occasionally, he’s going to step over the line. I don’t think he’s homophobic, anymore than I think Natasha Leggero hates World War II veterans or anyone on a Comedy Central roast hates their guest of honour. Hell, he even took on Jonathan Phelps from the Westboro Baptist Church, so clearly he’s willing to face down actual hate.

That being said, Blundell and his co-host Derek Welsman’s now infamous segment could have very well caused a mistrial in a case Welsman was the jury foreman for. Legally speaking, there are some things you can’t really discuss on air.

As an incredibly talented comedian I know once said (well, she said it multiple times . . .) comedy is basically a gun, and you always have to be conscious of what you’re pointing it at. Never let yourself get too trigger-happy.