Radio Host Fired After Making Remarks About Serena Williams’ Skin Tone

One New York radio host has been fired and two others have been suspended following a racist on-air segment discussing Black women’s skin tones.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Cumulus Media confirmed to People magazine that Rob Lederman — a host on 97 Rock Buffalo’s “The Morning Bull Show” — has been "swiftly terminated" after he compared the skin tones of famous Black women to numbered toaster settings.

"CUMULUS MEDIA 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," the statement read.

"We swiftly terminated him and suspended the remainder of the show's on-air talent. We apologize, and deeply regret the incident."

Per The Buffalo News, those suspended are lead host Rich "Bull" Gaenzler and co-host Chris Klein.

Earlier this week, EPSN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques — who admitted to not hearing the controversial segment live — posted a 45-second audio clip in which the hosts discuss their preferred toaster setting.

However, the clip takes a turn when a man identified by outlets as Lederman then compares toaster settings to Black women.

"I have them to the attractiveness of women that I find to be attractive," Lederman said. "I will never go to a Serena Williams level. But I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level."

When asked about Gayle King, Lederman said she is not “on my toaster level.”

In response to the clip, Louis-Jacques wrote in a follow-up tweet, “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.”

After the clip went viral, Lederman expressed remorse for his comments, telling The Buffalo News, “I could easily see how someone could be offended by that. I get that.”

“It sounds terrible, and it is terrible,” he added.

In addition to being suspended from the show, Gaenzler was fired from his role as the arena host for the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bandits, and as the public address announcer at the University at Buffalo.


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