A New Jersey radio station has indefinitely suspended two hosts after they called the state's new attorney general, who is Sikh, "turban man" repeatedly Wednesday.
Gurbir Grewal became the first Sikh attorney general in the U.S. last January. Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, the hosts of 101.5 FM's "The Dennis & Judi Show," discussed Grewal's order to suspend prosecutions for marijuana, but could not remember his name Wednesday.
"We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during [Wednesday's] broadcast," the station said in a statement released Thursday. "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."
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"I'm just going to say the guy with the turban," Malloy said. "Listen, and if that offends you, then don't wear the turban and maybe I'll remember your name."
Both he and Franco proceeded to refer to Grewal as "Turban Man" for the rest of the conversation.
"Is that highly offense? Could be. But if you call me 'baseball hat man' in a culture where nobody wears baseball hats, and they call me 'baseball hat man,' should I be offended?" Malloy said. "No."
Franco agreed, saying, "No, I would say no."
Grewal and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy both condemned the remarks.
"I'm outraged by the abhorrent and xenophobic comments," Murphy said in a statement Wednesday, according to NJ.com.
"Hate speech has no place in New Jersey, and it does not belong on our airwaves," he said. "Station management must now hold the hosts accountable for these intolerant and racist comments."
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