This time it’s iHeart’s KFI-AM in Los Angeles dropping the hammer down on host Tim Conway Jr. and his executive producer Sheron Bellio. Both are suspended this week for an Asian-American skit that was quickly criticized by the presidents of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.
Deadline was the first to report that Conway and Bellio did a skit where Conway pretended to interview Yuko Sakamoto – the wife of local radio personality Vic “The Brick” Jacobs. Bellio impersonated Sakamoto, attempting a Japanese accent (Sakamoto does not even speak with an accent). Bellio shouted “Hiya” and other martial arts noises and said also mentioned being “brought to you by Subaru.”
As what typically happens after a suspension, both Conway and Bellio apologized. Here’s the Conway statement courtesy of Deadline. “Both Sheron and I will be off this week – yep, suspended. We whole-heartedly agreed with that decision and, again, we are both incredibly sorry. We will look forward to returning to the show on Tuesday, June 1st, with a fresh perspective. We believe it’s important to take this time to recognize the issue of hate crimes against Asians that have significantly increased over the last few months. In fact, these crimes have doubled in the last month. And over the last year and a half, Asian Americans across this country including in our very own Southland communities, have endured despicable and sickening acts of hate & violence, fearing for their safety and the safety of their families.”
Also as a result of the episode, KFI is running anti-AAPI hate educational PSAs and the KFI news team is producing a two-hour on-air special focused on raising awareness of anti-Asian hate crimes.