Eitan Abramovich / AFP / Getty Images
An Argentine radio show host, who was prosecuted for allegedly sexist comments, has reached an agreement. Instead of a tighter route, prosecutors have ordered a five-month training in gender issues for Angel Etchecopar, commonly known by his nickname "Baby Etchecopar," and listeners to his midday radio broadcast El Angel de Mediodia
According to Argentinas La Nación states in the deal that Etchecopar once a week must host a specialist in gender issues on his show for five months. And he has to let every specialist speak for 10 minutes without having room for criticism.
Prosecutor Federico Villalba Díaz told La Nación that Etchecopar's statements were made a criminal offense because the prosecutors were able to gather eight pages of "derogatory, abusive, insulting, degrading and discriminatory" statements. However, he said that Etchecopar's willingness to change has led prosecutors to drop criminal proceedings in favor of this more creative solution.
Villalba Diaz told the French newspaper Le Monde that it was important to him that Etchecopar's listeners were exposed to new voices. The idea "promotes tolerance," he said.
Prosecutors will provide Etchecopar with a list of respondents for the five-month duration of the contract starting in March. According to La Nación Veronica Guagnino, a public prosecutor specializing in gender-based violence, will set the agenda for Etchecopar's talks with gender experts.
In addition to changing the content of his show, Etchecopar had to publicly apologize and make a small charity donation as part of the deal. And La Nación reports that if Etchecopar violates discrimination laws again within a year, the contract is terminated and he can be prosecuted.
The deal takes place in the context of a larger debate on sexism, feminism and women's rights in Argentina.
In the summer Jasmine Garsd from NPR reported on a popular newsreel in Argentina titled "Intrusos". This has become an unexpected platform for the discourse on feminism and women's issues ahead of a vote on a bill to legalize abortion. Garsd reported that Jorge Rial, the host of Intrusos, describes herself as a recovering misogynist.
However, the conversion of "Intrusos" was not ordered by prosecutors. According to the producers of the show, it was about ratings. The debate about abortion – and more generally about feminism – had fascinated the country.
In August, the Argentine Senate rejected the law that would have legalized abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The vote was close. The bill was defeated by 38 votes against and 31 votes in favor.
Gabriela Saldivia, Rolando Arrieta and Gerry Holmes contributed to this report.