(Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, File)

NJ Attorney General Fires Back After 'Turban Man' Comments

July 26, 2018 - 10:43 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Two radio hosts have been suspended after making comments about New Jersey's attorney general.

Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, longtime hosts of 101.5's afternoon show, are off the air indefinitely after repeatedly referring to Gurbir Grewal as "turban man" on the air.

The pair were discussing Grewal's order to suspend marijuana prosecutions when Malloy said he always forgets his name and referred to him as "turban man." They then wondered if that was offensive, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported. 

Grewal is the state's first Sikh attorney general. He commented Thursday morning via Twitter and said "My name, for the record, is Gurbir Grewal."

Grewal said on Twitter, “This is not the first indignity I’ve faced, and it probably won’t be the last.” He has spoken in the past about the racism he has endured since becoming attorney general.

“Scroll through any of the online comments about my work or my office, or any news story,” he once said. “It can really be stomach-turning.”

Grewal said he even gets death threats.

Gov. Phil Murphy also tweeted and said he was outraged by the "abhorrent and xenophobic" comments.

Hoboken's first Sikh Mayor, Ravi Bhalla, said this type of "racist garbage" has no place on the air.

Bhalla, who is a childhood friend of Grewal’s and also wears a turban, called the comments a poor attempt at humor “that was borne out of a very ignorant mentality about who Sikhs are and what the Sikh turban means.”

Bhalla said there should be consequences when thousands of listeners hear two radio hosts denigrating the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

Bhalla replied to Murphy's tweet and said they should go after the show's advertisers.

Malloy and Franco have apologized, and are suspended until Monday, Aug. 6 when they will return to the air.