TRENTON, N.J. — Two New Jersey radio hosts were kicked off the air after calling the nation’s first Sikh attorney general “turban man.”
Gurbir Grewal tweeted Thursday that it’s “not the first indignity I’ve faced and it probably won’t be the last.”
WKXW-FM hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco made the comments Wednesday while discussing Grewal’s recent order to suspend marijuana prosecutions in the state. Malloy said he couldn’t remember Grewal’s name and he told Franco: “I’m just going to say the guy with the turban.”
The pair continued to call Grewal “Turban Man” throughout the segment.
.@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.— Gurbir S. Grewal (@GurbirGrewalNJ) July 26, 2018
This is not the first indignity I’ve faced and it probably won’t be the last. Sometimes, I endure it alone. Yesterday, all of New Jersey heard it. It’s time to end small-minded intolerance. It’s an issue I addressed at @APAICS conference this May: pic.twitter.com/XnxJp53cxv— Gurbir S. Grewal (@GurbirGrewalNJ) July 26, 2018
Malloy and Franco acknowledged their words might be offensive, but Malloy said “if that offends you then don’t wear the turban and maybe I’ll remember your name.”
The station, known as New Jersey 101.5, tweeted Thursday that it had suspended the pair indefinitely and was investigating the matter. The station said it would have additional comment.
Neither host has responded to emails seeking comment.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Gov. Phil Murphy denounced the hosts’ statements, with the Democratic governor saying hate speech “does not belong on our airwaves.”
Grewal addressed the radio duo’s comments on Twitter on Thursday morning, noting he has three daughters “and yesterday, I told them to turn off the radio.” In a follow-up tweet, he added: “It’s time to end the small-minded intolerance.”
We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during Wednesday's broadcast. We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice. We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.https://t.co/kudnFRAAVt— New Jersey 101.5 (@nj1015) July 26, 2018