BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — A Buffalo radio morning show host is fired for controversial on-air, racist remarks.
97Rock’s “The Morning Bull” show co-host Rob Lederman was fired Wednesday by Cumulus Media.
Co-hosts Chris Klein and Rich “Bull” Ganenzler were suspended.
The company apologizes and says Lederman's comments violate company principles.
Women from Buffalo's Black community are reacting to the comments, saying they hope this hope becomes a teachable moment in the continuing conversations about race.
“Let's tell everybody why this is wrong, so we don't do it anymore,” declared Porsha Ari Parson, Buffalo resident. “It’s insulting — colorism was birthed by racism.”
Ari Parson says the remarks by now-fired Lederman are insulting to women of color and to all women.
Wednesday morning Lederman went on-air comparing types of toast to women's skin tones.
“And I may get in to trouble for this. We have the attractiveness of women that I find to be attractive, so I will never go to a Serena Williams level, but I’m very comfortable with like I’m very comfortable at a Halle Berry level,” Lederman said.
“The way you decided that you are going to categorize them is no different from what happened way — way back when slavery existed,” Ari Parson responded.
Lederman continued and co-host Chris Klein added more fuel to the controversial radio segment.
“I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through, it's not like — is Gayle King that's not your realm? Gayle king is not even on not even on my toaster level,” stated Lederman and Klein.
“He used the word mulattos — but he should read about how mulattos, that is how light skinned black folks came to be,” remarked Peggy Brooks Bertram, Buffalo author.
Brooks Bertram says the remarks are controversial. But says she has heard worse.
“I don't really see getting all worked up about this. It’s another nasty comment made by a white man,” Brooks Bertram said.
Brooks Bertram was very candid, saying she does not believe Lederman should be fired, instead she says he needs to be educated.
“It’s not that it doesn’t get my heart racing a little bit, and it’s not that it doesn’t make me sick to my stomach — but at some point in time — we want to pick and choose our battles,” Brooks Bertram remarked
President of the National Federation of Just Communities says this is a moment to educate.
But Rene Petties-Jones says she was pleased there were consequences and Lederman was fired.
“Clearly there was a tone in that conversation where everyone felt comfortable making jokes at the expense of people,” Petties-Jones noted.
“As a black female, how did feel personally when you heard those remarks?” Buckley asked.
“Just knowing that there was some kind of ratings scale that he felt comfortable putting people under that guise — that it didn't rise to the right level — how hurtful could that be and if that had been on the other end would he have wanted to be a recipient of that,” replied Petties-Jones. “It hurt.”
“If we don't stop this kind of behavior — this kind of talk — and these views — it's just going to continue and we are going to just continue to rip apart as a country,” responded Ari Parson.
Late Thursday afternoon Lederman issued a statement on Twitter, apologizing for his remarks.
The Buffalo Association of Black Journalists also issuing a statement saying it is "disheartened" by the racist remarks.