Radio hosts apologize for ‘turban man’ comments; suspended 10 days

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EDISON -

The hosts of the “Dennis and Judi Show” on radio station New Jersey 101.5 have issued an apology for comments they made on air Wednesday about the New Jersey attorney general.

Hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco issued the statement through the station’s website.

“We offer our sincerest apologies to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as well as the Sikh and East Asian communities for a series of insensitive comments we made on our show. 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.”

RELATED: NJ 101.5 hosts face criticism over comments about state attorney general

The hosts were suspended for 10 days, according to station management. The show will return Aug. 6.

Malloy and Franco referred to Grewal as “turban man” during Wednesday’s broadcast after Malloy admitted to forgetting the attorney general’s name. The hosts were discussing Grewal's recent order to suspend marijuana prosecutions in the state.

They acknowledged their words might be offensive, but Malloy said "if that offends you then don't wear the turban and maybe I'll remember your name.”

Grewal responded Thursday to the comments in a statement that said in part, "I'm a Sikh American. I have 3 daughters. And yesterday, I told them to turn off the radio."

Grewal also said that he addressed the issue of comments made against him previously at a conference in May.

“What’s most troubling is that these vulgar comments are no longer confined to those dark recesses of the internet. They are now being said in our public squares,” Grewal said at the time.

Several state leaders also spoke out against the hosts’ comments, including Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who is also a Sikh-American.

WKXW-FM management took the show off the air for Thursday, but allowed other programs to discuss the incident, with New Jersey residents calling in to voice their opinion about the situation – many callers defended Malloy and Franco.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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