Radio Broadcaster Fired After Racial Description of Kamala Harris
A radio host in Cleveland has been fired for using an offensive term to describe Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
During WTAM radio’s broadcast Wednesday of the Cleveland Indians’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, host Kyle Cornell used the term “colored” to describe Harris during a cut-in.
“The U.S. officially has its first colored vice presidential candidate; more coming up after the game,” Cornell said in an effort to keep the audience listening.
WKYC-TV reported Cornell, a 26-year-old news anchor at the station, was fired shortly afterward, when his choice of words caused outrage.
Cornell spoke with WKYC-TV and explained that he did not mean the word in a “malicious” way.
“I wasn’t trying to be malicious or in any way decimate the character or anything like that,” Cornell told the station of his description of Harris.
“That was never the goal. And for that, I am truly sorry.”
Cornell also apologized to his former employer.
“For the station of WTAM too, I feel awful for putting them through what they’ve had to go through over the past 24 hours … I just want them to understand it was a rough choice to make and that I accept my punishment and know that I still love and care about everyone at the station, wish them well, and I hope that they can forgive me for making a judgment in error and something that I know is not me,” he said, according to WKYC.
WTAM issued a statement saying that cutting Cornell over his Harris comment was an easy decision.
“We are aware of the reference made on WTAM by Kyle Cornell. We take this matter very seriously and addressed it immediately,” the station said.
“The term used is extremely offensive and does not align with our station’s core values and commitment to the communities we serve. He is no longer with WTAM,” the statement added.
Harris was chosen by Biden last week after Biden had committed previously to choosing a woman as a running mate.
Biden reportedly was pressured by Democrats into picking a woman of color.
Harris, 55, is the first woman of color on a major party ticket. She is of mixed ethnicity; her mother was born in India, and her father is black and from Jamaica, according to Politifact.
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California.
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