Two New Jersey radio hosts have been yanked off the air after repeatedly referring to the nation’s first and only Sikh-American attorney general as “turban man.”
WKXW hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco made the controversial comments Wednesday on “The Dennis & Judi Show” during a segment about Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s recent order to suspend marijuana prosecutions in the state.
The station said Malloy, a New Jersey Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee who has hosted the show with Franco for more than 20 years, told her he couldn't remember Grewal's name. Malloy then said, "I'm just going to say the guy with the turban" and the hosts, after that, continued to call him "Turban Man," it added.
The hosts acknowledged the offensive nature of their remarks -- for the most part.
“If that offends you, then don’t wear the turban and maybe I’ll remember your name,” Malloy said, according to FOX5 NY.
Grewal, in response, tweeted early Thursday "I’m the 61st Attorney General of NJ. I’m a Sikh American. I have 3 daughters. And yesterday, I told them to turn off the radio."
The station, meanwhile, said it has “taken immediate action and have taken [the hosts] off the air until further notice."
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also denounced the hosts’ statements, saying he was "outraged by the abhorrent and xenophobic comments."
"Hate speech has no place in New Jersey, and it does not belong on our airwaves," Murphy said in a statement. "Station management must now hold the hosts accountable for these intolerant and racist comments.”