Seth Dunlap, the WWL radio sports host who was plunged into controversy earlier this week when someone with access to the station's official Twitter account used a gay slur against him, has announced he's taking an indefinite leave of absence from WWL, effective today.
I will be taking a leave of absence from my shows at WWL effective immediately. I informed the station of my decision earlier this afternoon.This decision was deeply personal and certainly not easy to make. I need to do what's best for me and also what I feel is right.— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 12, 2019
Thanks to the many people inside and outside the organization who have shown their support over the past couple of days. There are many people working at WWL and Entercom who are wonderful people, and have been unfairly swept up in this.— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 12, 2019
Most importantly, to all of the LGBTQ+ people out there please know that your voices are being heard. I have tried hard to not make this about me because, truthfully, it's not. It's about a culture of hate and bigotry that has proliferated recently in our society.— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 12, 2019
I look forward to speaking more about this incident soon. Don't worry, I'm not going away. I am just taking time to decide what's best for my career, but also for my life away the microphone. ✌️❤️— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 12, 2019
WWL-AM, which has only released one tweeted statement about the incident, saying the station was investigating, has not said anything about Dunlap's leave of absence.
Best of luck to Seth, I dk what the future holds but if New Orleans has lost him as a voice in the scene than we are worse off, for real if you haven’t heard Seth he is amazing on air, can’t wait to see what he does next at WWL or anywhere else https://t.co/rmlyJqEjOB— T-Bob Hebert (@TBob53) September 12, 2019
The page for Dunlap's weeknight radio show, "The Last Lap With Seth Dunlap," is still up on the station's website.
The offensive tweet, which was targeted at Dunlap after he published an essay about his life as a gay man covering sports, was later deleted by the station — but not before being screencapped and shared on social media.
Dunlap's story has spread to national and international news and sports sites, drawing wide support on social media.
Dunlap’s leave of absence came as WWL radio management is conducting an investigation involving “everyone who has had access to the station’s Twitter account, now or ever,” a source with knowledge of the situation said.
It's not clear when that probe may be completed or how far along it may be.
Several employees currently have access to the Twitter account, and some who are no longer there had access to it as well at one point.
But, the source said, station employees are eager for the investigation to wrap up and for whomever sent the tweet to be identified, in part so that online speculation as to who may be responsible ceases.
“There’s no reason anybody speaking on behalf of WWL would have an interest in hurting Seth like that or WWL like that,” the source said.
Dunlap, the same source said, had worked his way up from the sales department to getting time on air to hosting his own show — all the while being openly gay. The source pointed out how Dunlap hasn't been the only openly gay show host in the station's history, saying David Tyree also hosted a show at the station before his death from cancer in 2005.
“We love Seth. The accusations people are making that this was an official attack on him (by the station) are hurtful and incorrect,” the source said. “He’s grown through the ranks. He’s been promoted and given greater exposure. There’s never been a problem with his being gay.”
Dunlap did not return a message seeking comment. No one answered the phone at WWL senior vice president Kevin Cassidy's extension.
— This story is developing.
Nearly 24 hours after someone at WWL Radio used the company's official Twitter account Tuesday to direct a gay slur at a fellow employee, exec…