NEW JERSEY – The hosts of the local “Dennis & Judi Show” on NJ 101.5 were suspended for repeated offensive comments about Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Wednesday’s show, referring to him as “turban man.”
Radio hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco referred to Grewal as “turban man” and “the man with the turban” while discussing the recent news that the Attorney General has suspended all municipal prosecutions of marijuana charges in New Jersey. Grewal announced this move on Tuesday.
During the broadcast, Malloy was heard saying “I’m never going to know his name. I’m just going to say the guy with the turban…and if that offends you then don’t wear the turban and maybe I’ll remember your name.”
Franco followed these comments, singing “turban man” and saying that it did not personally offend her.
Acknowledging the possibility that their comments could be offensive, Malloy compared it to someone calling himself “baseball hat man.”
“If they called me baseball hat man, should I be offended?” said Malloy on air, to which both he and Franco agreed: “No.”
NJ 101.5 indefinitely suspended the hosts soon after the comments were made, taking the pair off of their 10 a.m.-2 p.m. radio show.
In a statement, the radio station said: “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.”
Grewal responded to the comments via Twitter, tagging NJ 101.5 in the post.
“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,” read the tweet.
Grewal stated that this is not the first indignity he has faced, however this time, all of New Jersey heard it. He referred to Malloy and Franco’s comments as “small-minded intolerance.”
And Grewal was not the only one to condemn Malloy and Franco for the remarks. Various officials, including Gov. Phil Murphy, had something to say about it as well
“I’m outraged by the abhorrent and xenophobic comments made earlier today mocking Attorney General Gurbir Grewal,” on the Dennis & Judi Show, said Murphy in a social media post. “Hate speech has no place in New Jersey, and it does not belong on our airwaves.”
Murphy and many others agreed that the station should hold the pair accountable for their words.
“I’m truly appalled by the derogatory and hateful comments made today on the “Dennis and Judi Show” about NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Our residents shouldn’t have to hear these types of crude remarks made over the airwaves regarding a person’s religious beliefs and practices,” said Stephen Sweeney, NJ Senate President, via social media.
The mayor of Hoboken, also a Sikh, called out Malloy in a tweet, calling him “Racist Man.” “This type of racist garbage has no place in Jersey. Get with the program,” he stated.
ACLU of New Jersey wrote: “Racism isn’t cute. It’s just racist.”
Thursday morning’s broadcast was hosted by Jeff Edelstein of The Trentonian, who briefly discussed the controversy with his time on air.
Although admitting Malloy and Franco’s comments were indeed offensive, Edelstein advocated for the difficulty of the job. “You know what’s different about this job? No editing,” he said.