As reported earlier by Radio Ink, New Jersey station 101.5/WKXW has taken its midday hosts, Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, off the air “in light of comments about state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, made during Wednesday’s show.” The pair had repeatedly referred to Grewal, who is a Sikh, as “The Turban Guy,” raising outrage in both social media and conventional media, and condemnation from NJ Governor Phil Murphy and other public officials.
Townsquare Media, which owns 101.5, has released an updated statement.
Here is the full statement: New Jersey 101.5 hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco issued an apology today for comments made Wednesday regarding New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on their popular, statewide radio show.
“We offer our sincerest apologies to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as well as the Sikh and East Asian communities for a series of insensitive comments we made on our show. For 21 years, the Dennis and Judi Show has been unscripted and free form. We use humor and sarcasm to make a point and add color to the broadcast; in this instance, we were off the mark. It was a mistake we both deeply regret. We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers, and our beloved listeners.”
New Jersey 101.5 announced that the station had suspended the pair for 10 days, and they will not return to the air until August 6.
Addressing the apology and the suspension, New Jersey 101.5/WKXW-FM president Ron deCastro added, “We take these comments seriously and echo Dennis and Judi’s sincere apology to Attorney General Grewal and his family, as well as the Sikh and Asian communities. Dennis and Judi are known for their plainspoken brand of humor, but in this case, the language used was clearly demeaning and inappropriate. New Jersey is a state that is rich in diversity, and our radio station has served as the people’s voice for nearly 30 years. With Dennis and Judi’s help, we will use this incident as a learning moment to further a dialogue of inclusiveness for all residents of our great state.”