TRENTON, N.J. (AP/CBS) — The hosts of a popular New Jersey radio show who called the nation’s first Sikh attorney general “turban man” have been suspended for 10 days.READ MORE: 40-Year-Old Stabbed Multiple Times In Wells Fargo Center Parking Lot After J. Cole Concert, Police Say
WKXW-FM hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco were suspended Thursday. The veteran hosts issued a written apology to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the Sikh and East Asian communities, writing they are “deeply sorry” for the pain they caused.
Gurbir Grewal, who wears a turban and full beard, took to Twitter on Thursday morning to call for an end to “small-minded intolerance” after he was attacked by the hosts of the “Dennis & Judi” show.
Gurbir Grewal tweeted on Thursday that he’s the 61st attorney general of New Jersey. He wrote: “I’m a Sikh American. I have 3 daughters. And yesterday, I told them to turn off the radio.”Washington Township High School On Lockdown After Anonymous Threat
Malloy reportedly said on the air that he couldn’t remember Grewal’s name — and told Franco “I’m just going to say the guy with the turban.” The pair continued to call Grewal “Turban Man” throughout the segment.
Malloy and Franco acknowledged their words might be offensive, but Malloy said “if that offends you then don’t wear the turban and maybe I’ll remember your name.”
The station, known as New Jersey 101.5, said they have suspended the pair for 10 days. They will return to the air on Aug. 6.
The station released this statement following the incident:
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“We offer our sincerest apologies to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as well as the Sikh and 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.
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.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)