Two radio hosts in upstate New York were fired after making racist comments during a live broadcast Tuesday. During a discussion about recent violence in Rochester, Kimberly Ray referenced a viral video of a group of men beating a couple with a two-by-four over the weekend.
What We Know:
- The hosts were Kimberly Ray & Barry Beck from “Kimberly and Beck,” which aired 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays on Radio 95.1, a station owned by iHeartMedia.
- Beck said the men were acting like thugs. “I think. They’re thugs,” he said. Ray asked, “Were they acting N-wordly?”
- The show producer, Pat McMahon, responded: “You can’t say that. What are you doing?” The producer repeated, “You can’t say that.” He also told the pair: “Stop saying thugs. That’s part of the problem.”
- In a tweet Tuesday night, Alex Yudelson, chief of staff for Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, called on iHeartRadio to terminate Ray and Beck immediately for their “unbelievably vile, racist comments”. “They have no place anywhere in society, but especially in the city of Frederick Douglass,” Yudelson said.
I am calling on @Radio_951 and @iHeartRadio to terminate Kimberly and Beck immediately for these unbelievably vile, racist comments. They have no place anywhere in society, but especially in the city of Frederick Douglass. #ROC https://t.co/zE4WT0RT73
— Alex Yudelson (@AlexYudelson) June 2, 2020
- Another iHeartRadio host, Deanna King, who is on “The Brother Wease Show,” also on Radio 95.1, said she was appalled by what was said on the air Tuesday afternoon. “I have never and would never spew such racist hate,” King tweeted Wednesday morning.
- In a statement Wednesday, Robert Morgan, an iHeartMedia regional president, said, “We made the decision to terminate Kimberly and Beck yesterday as soon as we learned of their comments and informed them early this morning.
Another incident in 2014 caused their termination by a different Rochester station after they made fun of transgender people. They were also sued for slander in September 2015 by a philanthropist and former businessman who said they accused him of being a drug dealer during a live broadcast, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.