Another Hate Hoax: Radio Host Accused Of Homophobic Tweet To Himself, Tried To Cash In On Discrimination Suit
Another week, another hoax hate crime from a protected class. Today’s installment features New Orleans based WWL radio host Seth Dunlap, who cried wolf, err, discrimination, after the radio station’s twitter account retweeted him and added “You’re a fag.”
Dunlap, who is gay, lawyered up and announced he would be pursuing a $1.8 Million discrimination lawsuit against his employer.
Intent on finding out who sent the tweet from the company account, WWL enlisted a digital forensics firm to investigate the matter. After a thorough analysis, the forensics teams traced the IP address back to…. You guessed it, Seth Dunlap’s phone. Dunlap is also allegedly seen on camera with his phone in hand just after the Tweet was sent.
It appears as though Dunlap staged the incident so he could turn around and extort his own employer by playing the victim card. WWL is owned by media giant Entercom.
New Orleans police have opened a probe into a claim from the management at WWL Radio and its parent company, that radio host Seth Dunlap used the station’s official Twitter account to post an offensive tweet and then extorted the station for $1.85 million.
The complaint that WWL and Entercom filed with NOPD says that a digital forensic expert concluded that the tweeted slur directed at the openly gay host came from Dunlap’s own phone.
“The investigation discovered that the tweet was sent from an IP address associated with Mr. Dunlap’s personal cell phone,” according to the police report.
The report outlines that Dunlap was seen on video surveillance walking into his office and closing the door at the time the post was made, and then walking out of his office with his phone in his hand just after the tweet went out.
Attorney Michael Banks also claimed that while later meeting with station officials, Dunlap asked how much the company would pay and threatened to publicly attack the station through a “scorched earth” campaign.
Dunlap, meanwhile, denies he sent the tweet and alleges mistreatment.
His lawyer Megan Kiefer labeled Entercom’s allegations as “defamatory.”
In a public release, she said, “We will reveal the appalling history of discrimination Seth has experienced during his eight years at Entercom as an openly gay man.”
Kiefer alleged that Entercom has allowed an anti-gay, bigoted, and hostile work environment to flourish.
“Entercom as well as its corporate lawyers were aware of instances of homophobia and discrimination and did nothing to protect Seth or its LGBTQ+ employees.”
She said she would be preparing a lawsuit and complaint to discuss this in more detail.
In the police report, WWL outlines how Dunlap is allegedly in financial trouble, faced with collection efforts and wage garnishment requests for “a variety of unpaid credit cards and personal loans.”
If charged with and convicted of extortion, Dunlap could face 15 years in prison.
It’s not clear how long the NOPD investigation will take.
Yes yes, it’s apparently such a “hostile” workplace toward LGBTQ+ employees that Dunlap stayed there for several years and never said a word about it. Makes complete sense!
The police report, which summarizes allegations leveled by WWL Senior Vice President Kevin Cassidy and attorneys for the station’s corporate parent, Pennsylvania-based Entercom, suggested law enforcement was still working to corroborate the station’s allegations.
For now, police have classified the case as a possible extortion, which Louisiana law defines, in part, as “the communication of threats to another with the intention (to) obtain anything of value.” It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Dunlap’s attorney, Megan Kiefer, said Entercom’s allegations as presented in the police report were “defamatory and self-serving,” and her client maintains the company’s complaint is “littered with falsehoods.”
She alleged that the company’s attorneys “illegally used the threat of criminal prosecution” in order to settle any potential litigation with Dunlap following the tweet at a low monetary figure. She confirmed the dollar figure he had requested.
She also said Entercom was “revictimizing” Dunlap.
She said her client did not have password access to WWL Radio’s Twitter profile, adding Thursday, “It is truly reprehensible (the station) would be attempting to blame the victim of its own anti-LGBT culture, and they are only compounding the severe damage that Mr. Dunlap has experienced at the hands of Entercom.”
The police report adds an extraordinary twist to a story that has led to criticism of WWL Radio and Entercom for what some argued was a slow response in addressing the tweet.
The report said management tried to ask Dunlap about whether he had been discriminated against because of his sexuality. But Dunlap’s team objected to the questioning, and the meeting was derailed when management revealed their digital forensic expert had concluded that Dunlap “posted the (homophobic) tweet himself from his personal cellphone.”
The station said the forensic expert, John Conroy, discovered the tweet was sent from an Internet protocol address associated with Dunlap’s phone, according to the police report.
The best comment comes from a Deadspin reader: So let me get this straight… this guy saw what happened to Jussie Smollett and was like, “I’ve got an idea…”