New York radio station Hot 97 has decided to suspend DJ Cipha Sounds indefinitely following what were deemed inflammatory remarks about Haitians.
During a broadcast on December 17, Ciph, one of the hosts of the station’s morning show, joked,”The reason why I’m HIV negative is because I don’t mess with Haitian girls.” He quickly apologized on-air, after the station received an abundance of phone calls and comments online slamming the remarks. “I made a stupid, tasteless joke,” he said. “I want to say sincerely that I apologize. I said something stupid that I’m embarrassed about.”
Nevertheless, as a result of the remarks, protesters rallied outside of Hot 97 yesterday (December 21). The rising seems to have caused a ripple effect with the station, who suspended him.
“First, the station announced that DJ Cipha Sounds has been suspended indefinitely,” a rep for Hot 97 said in a statement. “Second, Cipha will immediately undertake sensitivity training focused on the Haitian community and specifically, the challenges the Haitian community has faced in terms of the HIV epidemic. Finally, HOT 97 announced it will work with local community leaders to utilize the influence of HOT 97 to increase awareness of HIV and community programs to address the HIV epidemic.”
This morning, Cipha tweeted, “IM JUST A DUDE FROM THE BRONX THAT HAS A REALLY COOL JOB & I DIDNT KNOW MY WORDS WERE THIS POWERFUL. ITS A BLESSING TO LEARN… THANK U.”
His morning show partner, Peter Rosenberg, also took to twitter this morning to comment on the situation. “ciph was suspended because of an insensitive joke about Haitian women…he apologized rightaway, feels terrible, but was suspended anyway.” he wrote.
While Cipha Sounds serves out his suspension, the Hot 97 morning slot will be held down by Rosenberg and K-Foxx. —Adam Fleischer