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Making waves over the airwaves

Source: Nicola Katie / Getty

A radio host is under fire after comparing the skin tones of famous Black women to levels of toasted bread.

According to The Grio, Buffalo, New York-based radio host Rob Lederman was fired after comparing the skin tones of notable Black women to toaster settings during a taped recording of The Morning Bull Show on 97 Rock.

ESPN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques reposted a 45-second audio clip of Lederman comparing his levels of the desirability of Black women based on their complexion to the numbered settings found on toasters to the show’s lead host Rich “Bull” Gaenzler and co-host Chris Klein.

Louis-Jacques tweeted, “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.”

In the clip, Lederman proudly explained, “I have them to the attractiveness of women that I find to be attractive. I will never go to a Serena Williams level, but I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level.”

Lederman went further adding, “I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through.”

Klein continued the conversation asking, “Is Gayle King not in your realm?” Lederman clarified, “Gayle King is not even on my toaster level.”

Cumulus Media announced the disciplinary measures they planned to take in a statement on Wednesday. According to Buffalo News, the statement read, “We swiftly terminated him and suspended the remainder of the show’s on-air talent.” The company continued, “We apologize, and deeply regret the incident.”

Fallout from the controversial conversation continued as advertisers, including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, pulled its advertising from the program.

A statement read, “Immediately upon learning about this exchange, Roswell Park, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation and the Ride for Roswell pulled all ads and marketing from this station. The comments this morning conflict with our values and culture. We embrace actions that respect the dignity and equity of all people, and forcefully reject any and all forms of racism.”

Gaenzler, who was suspended from the show for his role in the conversation, was later terminated from his position as an arena host for the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits.

Lederman has since said he’s “horrified” by his comments.

“I could easily see how someone could be offended by that,” he told the Buffalo News. “I get that. It sounds terrible, and it is terrible.”

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