A radio host in Buffalo, New York, was fired after comparing black women’s skin color to toast, CBS partner WIVB reported. Cumulus Media, the owner of 97 Rock, announced on Wednesday that “Morning Bull” radio host Rob Lederman was let go and that his other co-hosts, Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein, were banned after holding a conversation that judged black women on based on their skin color.
“Cumulus Media operates from a clearly defined set of programming principles and there is no doubt that Rob Lederman’s comments on ‘The Morning Bull Show’ directly contradict those principles,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to WIVB. . “We quickly terminated him and suspended the rest of the show’s on-air talent. We apologize and deeply regret the incident.”
On the show, Lederman said he would “never go with Serena Williams’ level, but I feel very comfortable at Halle Berry level.”
“I need a little more mulatto,” he said. In the audio, Brown also mentions “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King by name.
“Morning Bull” remained off the air on Thursday morning. The station’s Twitter cover photo featured Lederman and Gaenzler from Thursday afternoon.
While the episode “Morning Bull” was no longer available, ESPN’s Buffalo Bulls reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques shared a 45 second clip of the show online. In response to a Twitter user, Louis-Jacques explained the seriousness of Lederman’s remarks.
“There is already an unfortunate and undeserved stigma attached to dark skin – so it’s reprehensible that Rob takes something undesirable like burnt toast and compares it to a person’s skin color, and that feeds off that stigma,” he tweeted.
The comments drew the attention of the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, among others, in which he condemned the comments and called them “scandalous and unbearable. There is no place in our society for these statements or beliefs,” he said.
Various ad partners of the show pulled their ads of the show because of the comments. Pegula Sports & Entertainment also severed ties with one of the show’s hosts, who served as the arena host for the Buffalo Sabers and Bandits.
Lederman told The Buffalo News he was “shocked” by his words after listening to a recording.
“I could easily see how someone could be offended by that,” he told the news outlet. “I get it.”