Tuesday, January 18, 2022

97 Rock DJ Fired Over Racist Comments Comparing Toast to Black Women’s Skin Tones


*A 97 Rock DJ and two other employees were suspended following racist comments about Black women made on-air Wednesday morning.

The comments came from Rob Lederman after he compared the darkness of toast that he prefers to Black women’s skin tones. The hosts discussed the complexion of Serena Williams, Halle Berry, and Gayle King, with Lederman making clear that he would never choose a woman as dark as Serena and he wouldn’t even look Gayle’s way — but Halle, he said, has the right amount of “mulatto”.

‘I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through,’ said Lederman.

“I may get into trouble for this,” said Lederman during a conversation with lead host Rich “Bull” Gaenzler and co-host Chris Klein on the morning radio show in Buffalo, New York. 

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Comparing Black women to a toaster scale of desirability, Lederman added “I will never go to a Serena Williams level … but I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level.”

Klein interjected, “Is Gayle King not your realm?” to which Lederman replied, “Gayle King is not even on my toaster level.”

Louis-Jacques broke the story, tweeting “There’s already an unfortunate and undeserved stigma attached to dark skin – so for Rob to take something undesirable like burnt toast and compare it to the skin color of any person is reprehensible and feeds into that stigma.”

Cumulus Media said it fired Lederman over the remarks “and suspended the remainder of the show’s on-air talent. We apologize, and deeply regret the incident,” the company said in a statement

Roswell Park and the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation pulled marketing affiliations with the station, including advertising and sponsorship.

Immediately upon learning about this exchange, Roswell Park, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation and the Ride for Roswell pulled all ads and marketing from this station. The comments this morning conflict with our values and culture. We embrace actions that respect the dignity and equity of all people, and forcefully reject any and all forms of racism.”

In a statement, Pegula Sports & Entertainment said: “All organizations across the Pegula Sports & Entertainment umbrella strongly condemn racism in all forms. We are deeply disturbed by the comments made this morning by a co-host on Rich Gaenzler’s radio show. They were unacceptable, inappropriate, and there is no place for them in our community. The Sabres and Bandits therefore have made the decision to terminate him from his duties as our in-arena host.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also condemned the comments: “The racist commentary made on The Morning Bull show on 97 Rock is outrageous and intolerable. There is no place in our society for these statements or beliefs. I strongly condemn what these individuals said on the radio this morning.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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