David Mueller, the radio DJ who was found guilty in August of groping Taylor Swift’s backside in a meet and greet in 2013, has landed a new job at a different radio station in Greenwood, Miss. He was fired from his job at KYGO, a Denver radio station, and consequently sued Swift in 2015 for $3 million for losing his job. She countersued him for assault for just one dollar, in order to show that her suit had nothing to do with the potential for monetary gain, but the need for justice.
Despite being found guilty, he maintains his innocence, and his new boss, Larry Fuss, seems to agree with him. “He’s very sincere and if you talk to him face to face, he comes off as sincere,” Fuss, the CEO of Delta Radio, told CNN. He offered Mueller the job as a co-host for the morning show “Jackson & Jonbob” on the radio station KIX 92.7. Particularly troubling was Fuss’ comment about how he didn’t see that the assault had anything to do with others’ personal experiences: “I’ve been getting calls and emails from people saying, ‘My uncle molested me when I was 14’ or ‘My boyfriend beat me severely.’ I understand that and I’m sorry for those people that had to go through those ordeals, but what does that have to do with me and what does that have to do with David Mueller?”
Suggesting that assaults against women, sexual or otherwise, are one-off things that have nothing to do with other cases of sexual assault is a deeply troubling mindset. The music industry, like many others, can be very toxic to women, both due to workplace sexism and assault from male higher-ups. Pretending that men assault women because the occasional man is crazy or a bad boyfriend, instead of recognizing that many men within our culture are socialized to feel entitled to women’s bodies will never fix the issue at hand –– it will only bury it. Of course, in order to address that issue, Fuss would first have to acknowledge that men learn this culture of sexism and harassment and that he must make changes in his own behavior to fix it –– that it actually has a lot to do with him after all.
The women who are calling and writing to Fuss with their stories are not merely making the incident about their own past experiences. They are trying to prevent it from happening to other women. Unless “Jackson & Jonbob” is an exclusively-male show, Mueller will come in contact with more women than when he has already been convicted in court of groping a woman. How can any of his female coworkers, fellow employees or guest stars feel safe and comfortable around him? Fuss stated that he has no plans to fire Mueller and that he is surprised that the people complaining expect Mueller to be unemployed for the rest of his life. Mueller, however, forfeited the right to consistent employment after he sexually assaulted a woman. A man’s need for employment does not supersede women’s rights to feel comfortable in the workplace.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.
Email Beth Sattur at [email protected].