Two radio show hosts were recently suspended for poking fun at renowned Hawaii singer and musician Paula Fuga while she opens up about her experiences of hunger and being homeless.
The two members of “The Wake Up Crew” of Island 98.5 incited rude jokes during a live stream radiothon fundraiser for the Hawaii food bank. During the event, Paula shared how she endured homelessness growing up and had to rummage through trash cans for food.
One of the hosts sarcastically asked: “Is it right out of the trash can or do you put it on a plate first?”
Fuga replied: “No I could cry thinking about it.”
Later in the interaction, Fuga asked for a box of tissues, to which a host said: “No but we got a trash can.” Another adding: “Just in case she’s hungry.” The conversation ended with Fuga in tears, walking off stage.
The incident has ignited a fury on social media, and an online petition titled “A wake-up call for the Wake Up Crew,” has amassed nearly 3,000 signatures so far.
Paula wrote a statement that read, “I hope to use this as a teachable moment and encourage some sort of community outreach…I only shared that part of my story, to incite generosity and compassion for the families and especially children who are hungry now more than ever, due to the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic.”
Homelessness and hunger can leave a traumatic impact on people. So when they are vulnerable enough to share their story in hopes of instilling faith and possibilities for our younger generations, try to come from a place of understanding and compassion. We all could use a little extra today.
Written by: Samantha Watts-Hopkins