Two New Jersey radio hosts have been taken off the air after referring to the nation’s first and only Sikh-American Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as “turban man,” according to news reports.
“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,” reported Fox News. “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.”
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,” FOX5 NY quoted Malloy as saying.
In response , Grewal @GurbirGrewalNJ tweeted tweeted early Thursday: .@nj1015: My name, for the record, is Gurbir Grewal. 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,” reported Fox.
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.”