Calgary woman holding sign about being punished for cheating on boyfriend has no regrets
The woman behind the sign in a Calgary radio station stunt is speaking out about the backlash towards her.
On Thursday morning, Francoise Dione, who works in the promotions department at 90.3 AMP Radio, stood at the intersection of Edmonton Trail and 16 Avenue during the morning rush holding a sign that said: “I cheated on my boyfriend at Stampede. This is my punishment.”
Dione said she was comforted and condemned in ways she never expected.
“Standing out there on the corner, it was really hard to have people yelling things, but of course, holding that sign, I know people have different reactions to cheating because everyone has been affected by it differently.
“So I got what I was asking for,” she said.
“However, there were tons of women who came up to me who were so good and comforting and telling me I am too good for this,” Dione said on Friday.
The whole thing was a stunt dreamed up by the morning show crew at AMP radio.
“We wanted to see how people would react. We are entertainers,” said “Ed,” co-host of AMP Mornings with Katie and Ed.
Dione said she thought people were going to take it as a joke but many people driving by didn’t. She was called out for everything from cheating to her appearance.
“A lot of people were saying things about my weight. That’s just another thing they have to attack, right? It’s just one more thing for them to make fun of.”
Dione said the whole experience has made her more empathetic.
“I really thought: If there is a vulnerable girl who is actually being told to do this, which I have seen on the Internet all the time, this is heartbreaking.
“I cannot even imagine because I have a pretty thick skin,” Dione said.
The radio station has been taking some heat about the stunt. Some people said it’s not fair they didn’t put a man out there or that they were making fun of women in vulnerable situations.
“People have said: ‘Why don’t you do it with a guy? Why don’t you see what the male situation would be like?’ A lot of us already assume that it wouldn’t be anything near as bad as it was for a woman,” said Ed, who only goes by his first name.
“I am glad we did it. We have got a lot of hate from listeners. We had a lot of hate from non-listeners.
“But at the same time, it brings to light a lot of stereotypes and a lot of thoughts that people have about these types of situations.”
But the most uncomfortable part of the experience for Dione was how seeing how hundreds of people were OK with recording her plight.
“I saw these people, they had no shame filming me. It was like I was nothing. Not that I’m blaming them. It’s like our society reacting to anything nowadays. Even if you feel bad for that woman holding that sign that you assume is forced to by her boyfriend because it’s a punishment, you’re still going to film it,” Dione said.
Dione says she saw two sides of Calgary standing there with that sign, and she wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.