Detroit Radio Station's 'Britney Suicide Watch' Contest Draws Criticism
A Detroit radio station has apologized after a disc jockey advertised a contest to determine when Britney Spears would commit suicide.
"When will Britney end it?" listeners were asked on the Web and the Tuesday night radio show hosted by DJ Big Boy on Channel 955, according to a story in the Detroit News.
"If you can guess the exact day that Britney dies, whether it's from drugs or however she dies, if you're right, we'll give you a thousand bucks," the News quoted DJ Big Boy as saying.
An apology posted on the Web site of Channel 955, a Clear Channel radio station, said the $1,000 cash prize "was always going to be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention."
Click here to read the Detroit News' story.
"Channel 955 wants to take this time to apologize to any member of our audience who may have been offended last night by the content of Big Boy's show," the apology stated. "In no way were we making light of death or suicide.
"The fact is that people across the country are talking about Britney," the apology continued. "And the media, itself, needs to take responsibility for the part they have played in her sad situation."
A Channel 355 Web page advertising the contest, deleted from the site but posted by the Detroit News, shows an image of a crying Spears next to a skull and crossbones with a "Britney Death Poll" headline in a bloody font on a pink background.
The Detroit News reported that fellow Channel 955 DJs Mojo and Spike criticized the stunt and station management on the radio Wednesday. Local suicide prevention experts were also up in arms over the contest.
"A contest like this is dangerous, especially to a very impressionable, depressed teenager," Tammi Landry, the Michigan area director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told the News. "It's making suicide an available option for them. The contagion is real."
Landry told the newspaper her organization would only accept the $1,000 "prize money" if the contest was off.