A pair of Rochester radio hosts have come under fire following racist comments during a broadcast on Tuesday. And by Wednesday morning – they had been terminated.
Kimberly Ray, who co-hostsed the ‘Kimberly and Beck Show’ on Radio 95.1, referred to the n-word multiple times in a span of minutes. While she didn’t use the word, the comments drew intense criticism and backlash.
As of Wednesday morning, other hosts on Radio 95.1 were threatening to leave the station, owned by iHeartRadio.
“We made the decision to terminate Kimberly and Beck yesterday as soon as we learned of their comments and informed them early this morning,” said Robert J. Morgan, president of the upstate New York market for iHeartMedia. “We will not tolerate this kind of behavior, which is antithetical to our core values and beliefs and to our commitment to our community and everyone in it.”
The racist comments followed discussion of a local couple, who was attacked after a peaceful demonstration of the Black Lives Matter movement in Rochester over the weekend.
Kimberly Ray asked co-host if the attackers were acting ‘n-word-ish’, or ‘n-word-ly’. “Okay, let me ask you a question. Were they acting n-word-ish?” she said.
New York State Assembly Candidate Alex Yudelson weighed in, calling it both vile and racist. “The events of recent days across our country – from our president to local radio hosts – have shown how far we have to go as a country in combating both individual and structural racism,” he said. “iHeart Radio should terminate Kimberly and Beck immediately. The community of Frederick Douglass deserves better.”
Deanna King, who’s part of the morning show on Radio 95.1 said she was appalled at the comments. “I am appalled at what was said on The Kimberly and Beck Show. I have never and would never spew such racist hate. I’ve told management I won’t work at a company that employs people like this,” she said on Twitter. “I’m raising my children to love everyone and stand up for what is right. I will, too.”
This isn’t the first time the Kimberly and Beck Show has drawn criticism. They were fired from a Rochester-area radio station in 2014.
Radio 95.1 is heard throughout the Finger Lakes. iHeartRadio has not released a statement regarding the matter.