A longtime Buffalo radio host was fired late Wednesday night after discussing how burnt he likes his toast on a scale using black female celebrities.
Rob Lederman, a morning show host on 97 Rock, made the comments on Wednesday’s “Morning Bull” show during a discussion about how dark he likes his toast.
Lederman rated his preferred level using the skin tones of Serena Williams, Halle Berry and Gayle King as examples, according to The Buffalo News.
The disgusting exchange went viral after ESPN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques tweeted it.
In a follow-up tweet, Louis-Jacques explained exactly why Lederman’s comments were problematic.
The reaction was swift.
By Wednesday evening, Cumulus Media, which owns the station, fired Lederman and suspended two other members of the show.
In a statement, the company said it “operates from a clearly-defined set of programming principles and there is no question that Rob Lederman’s comments made on The Morning Bull Show are in direct violation of those principles.”
Rich Gaenzler, another host of the show, was fired from side gigs as the in-arena host for the Buffalo Sabres hockey team and the public address announcer for University at Buffalo football games, according to local station WGRZ.
Lederman told The Buffalo News that he was “horrified” by what came out of his mouth after he listened to them after the show.
“I could easily see how someone could be offended by that. I get that,” Lederman said. “It sounds terrible, and it is terrible.”
But Lederman, who introduced his racist comments by saying, “I may get into trouble for this,” also insisted that he was guilty of “ignorance as opposed to malicious intent. Was it stupid? Yes. Was it funny? No, it was embarrassing once I heard it.”
He now says he wants to “learn from this,” and apologized “to anybody that would be hurt” by his words.
On Friday, Lederman sent his apology to HuffPost, saying he “100% [understands] why people are justifiably angry,” but pledged to do better.
Lederman said he has reached out to the local NAACP, and African American clergymembers for guidance.
He also claimed that he knows his comments were ignorant, but “not meant to be hurtful,” but added, “I know I, as well as many others need to learn from this.”
This incident comes a few weeks after a basketball announcer in Norman, Oklahoma, was heard using racial slurs after a girls high school basketball team chose to kneel during the national anthem before a playoff game.