Radio hosts suspended for calling New Jersey's Sikh attorney general "turban man"

"If that offends you, then don't wear the turban."

A pair of New Jersey radio hosts have been suspended for referring to the state's Sikh attorney general as "turban man" during their program this week. Because you can always count on talk radio to keep it classy.

Radio Hosts Suspended After Calling New Jersey Attorney General 'Turban Man'

On Wednesday's edition of New Jersey 101.5's popular mid-day program The Dennis & Judi Show, hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco were discussing Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal's recent order to suspend marijuana prosecutions. Malloy said he couldn't remember the attorney general's name, so he'd just refer to him as "the guy with the turban."

"Turban maaaaaan!" Franco replied, in a sing-song voice.

"If that offends you, then don't wear the turban," Malloy said. "And maybe I'll remember your name."

Grewal, who was born and raised in New Jersey, is the first Sikh American Attorney General in United States history. He responded to Malloy and Franco's comments on Twitter, calling it "small-minded intolerance."

New Jersey 101.5 announced that Malloy and Franco had been suspended until further notice.

"We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today's broadcast," the station announced Wednesday night. "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."

The hosts also issued an apology, posted to the station's website on Thursday.

"We offer our sincerest apologies to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as well as the Sikh and Asian communities for a series of insensitive comments we made on our show," the statement reads. "For 21 years, the Dennis and Judi show has been unscripted and free form. We use humor and sarcasm to make a point and add color to the broadcast; in this instance, we were off the mark. It was a mistake we both deeply regret. We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers and our beloved listeners."

Judi Franco and Dennis Malloy

The Sikh Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group, called for the hosts to be held accountable for their remarks, and offered to resources and cultural sensitivity training to New Jersey 101.5 employees.

"Words have consequences. Xenophobic remarks can fuel hate crimes, harassment, employment discrimination, and bullying against Sikh Americans and other communities," Sim J. Singh, senior manager of policy and advocacy for the Sikh Coalition, told ABC News.

"Whether it's remarks by radio hosts with media-amplified voices or bigoted comments from elected officials about minority communities, we must speak up and hold one another accountable."

More here: NJ 101.5 suspends hosts Dennis & Judi for 'offensive comments' about N.J. attorney general

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