Posted on August 21, 2020

Radio Broadcaster, 26, Is Fired for Referring to Senator Kamala Harris as America’s ‘First Colored Vice Presidential Candidate’

Harriet Alexander, Daily Mail, August 21, 2020

A radio station in Ohio has fired a broadcaster who described Senator Kamala Harris as the nation’s ‘first colored vice presidential candidate’.

Kyle Cornell, 26, made the remark on air on Wednesday night.

He was fired by WTAM 1100, a Cleveland-based station, on Thursday, after a social media backlash.

‘We are aware of the reference made on WTAM by Kyle Cornell,’ said Ray Davis, the station’s program and promotions director said in a statement.

‘We take this matter very seriously and addressed it immediately.

‘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.’

In a news teaser that aired during the station’s broadcast of the Cleveland Indians game, Cornell said: ‘The U.S. officially has its first colored vice presidential candidate. More coming up after the game on Newsradio WTAM 1100 Cleveland.’

Audio of the clip was posted to social media and sparked anger.

‘Hey @WTAM1100 it’s racist to use the term ‘colored’ when describing Kamala Harris,’ tweeted one listener.

Another described Cornell as an ‘ignorant bozo’.

Colin McMahon, the editor in chief of the Chicago Tribune, tweeted: ‘I thought I must have heard it wrong during the @Indians broadcast.’

Cornell has apologized for ‘making a judgement in error’, and said he never intended to cause offense.

‘I wasn’t trying to be malicious or in any way decimate the character or anything like that,’ Cornell told 3News. ‘That was never the goal. And for that, I am truly sorry.’

He also apologized to the station.

‘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 judgement in error and something that I know is not me.’

Harris, whose mother is from India and whose father is from Jamaica, is the first woman of color on a major party’s presidential ticket.