DJ Suspended After Mocking Woman With Down Syndrome On Air
CANTON, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) - A local DJ for Q92 WDJQ landed himself in hot water after mocking a woman on the air who had Down syndrome.
On Jan. 21, the woman, 30-year-old Kellie Baker, accidentally called the station while trying to reach a friend. DJ Mo told Baker she had called the wrong number, but then proceeded to make fun of her voice and imply that she had a speech impediment, according to CBS affiliate WOIO.
“You don’t know who Mo is?” he said, continuing to mock her. “Okay, so I can laugh at you and you won’t know who to call to say you’re offended. Very good.”
Baker was upset by the incident, and informed her mother of what had happened. The story quickly spread from there, even working its way onto the Facebook page of the DJ in question. In response to the backlash from his actions, he issued an apology on the air last Thursday.
“… I took a call from a woman that was attempting to reach a friend of her’s on the phone. At the time, I thought it was a prank call and I played along with it,” he explained during the recorded apology, explaining that he did not learn of Baker’s condition until after the call had ended, and noting that he and the station apologized through multiple channels online. “At this time, I would like to apologize [on the air] … to the woman that called, her family, her friends, and everyone else that has been outraged by what transpired last Monday.”
WOIO learned that the DJ was also suspended from working at the station due to his actions.
“Mo apologized to Ms. Baker and her family on-air today at 2:00, and has been suspended from the station,” Q92 WDJQ representative Amanda Paar Conroy was quoted as saying to the station. “Mo will … be apologizing to Ms. Baker at her home, per her family’s request.”
Conroy added that the station plans to partner with two county boards focused on developmental disabilities to create an ongoing awareness campaign.
“This campaign is projected to launch in March, which is developmental disabilities awareness month,” Conroy’s statement to WOIO continued. “Q92 is looking forward to working with these organizations and engaging its listeners regarding this important community issue.”