"I may get into trouble for this," Buffalo radio host Rob Lederman said Wednesday morning before likening his toaster settings to the skin color of Black women he finds attractive. He was correct. By the end of the day, the Morning Bull co-host had been fired by 97 Rock and denounced by the city's mayor, among many others, WGRZ reports. A clip of his remarks caused outrage when it was tweeted by ESPN reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques. Lederman told co-hosts Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein that he "will never go to a Serena Williams level," but he's "very comfortable" at a "Halle Berry level," with a "little bit of mulatto still coming through." Gaenzler and Klein have been suspended by the station for their involvement in the chat, and Gaenzler has been fired as the Buffalo Sabres' in-arena host.
"There's already an unfortunate and undeserved stigma attached to dark skin—so for Rob to take something undesirable like burnt toast and compare it to the skin color of any person is reprehensible and feeds into that stigma," Louis-Jacques noted. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said in a statement Wednesday night that the "racist commentary" made on the show "is outrageous and intolerable." Lederman, who joined the station 30 years ago, tells the Buffalo News that his words were not "meant to be hurtful," but he was "horrified" when he heard a recording of the show. "I could easily see how someone could be offended by that. I get that," he says. "It sounds terrible, and it is terrible." (Read more Buffalo stories.)