Longtime Buffalo, New York radio host Rob Lederman is out of a job after comparing Black female celebrities to burnt toast.
Lederman, a morning show host with 97 Rock, was discussing how dark he likes his toast on Wednesday during a show called “Morning Bull.” According to Buffalo News, that’s when Lederman compared his toast preferences to the skin tones of celebrities like Serena Williams, Halle Berry and Gayle King.
ESPN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques on Wednesday tweeted audio of the conversation with the caption, “didn’t hear this live but internet keeps receipts. @97RockBuffalo morning hosts compared how they like their toast to black women’s skin tone. So just in case y’all missed it too, take a listen.”
“There’s already an unfortunate and undeserved stigma attached to dark skin—so for Rob to take something undesirable like burnt toast and compare it to the skin color of any person is reprehensible and feeds into that stigma,” Louis-Jacques explained in a follow-up tweet.
Cumulus Media, the company that owns 97 Rock, fired Lederman Wednesday, the same day he made those disturbing comments. Two other members of the show were suspended for their involvement in the offensive conversation. The company put out a statement saying 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.”
In an interview with Buffalo News, Lederman said he was “horrified” by his statements after listening to the show. “I could easily see how someone could be offended by that. I get that. It sounds terrible, and it is terrible.”
Although Lederman expressed shock over his own behavior, listeners could hear him say, “I may get into trouble for this” right before making the racist comments. Lederman maintains that he wants learn from this experience and apologizes to anyone who was hurt by his words.