HOT 97 DJ suspended over comment linking Haitian women to HIV
December 22nd, 2010
02:29 PM ET

HOT 97 DJ suspended over comment linking Haitian women to HIV

A HOT 97 DJ in New York has been suspended indefinitely over an on-air comment linking Haitian women to HIV.

The comment sparked outrage in New York's Haitian community, prompting activists and local leaders to call for his dismissal.

"The reason I'm HIV negative is because I don't mess with Haitian girls," DJ Cipha Sounds said Friday on the hip-hop station's morning show, which is owned by Emmis Communications.

Sounds, whose real name is Luis Diaz, moved fast to issue an on-air apology the same day as complaints began flooding the station.

"I made a stupid tasteless joke that was a one-liner and taken totally the wrong way and I want to say sincerely that I apologize," he said.

It wasn't enough to save him from being suspended indefinitely. He will also undertake sensitivity training focused on the Haitian community, specifically, "the challenges the Haitian community has faced in terms of the HIV epidemic," Emmis Communications said in a statement Wednesday.

HOT 97 will also work with community leaders to increase awareness of HIV and community programs to address the HIV epidemic, the media group said.

"Cipha made an immediate public apology and recognizes his insensitivity and the negative impact his comments have on all Haitians," said Alex Cameron, SVP/Market Manager of Emmis-New York.

"The Haitian community is an important part of our listenership whom we respect and value. The suspension is an indication of the importance we place on delivering a product that respects our Haitian audience. It's a
very regrettable and unfortunate circumstance for all involved and particularly because we know this is not the nature of this young man who has been an advocate of the Haitian community and a big part of our fund-raising efforts for Haiti."

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Filed under: Haiti • Music • New York • Showbiz
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. BigW

    Where is Al Sharpton!!!!
    can you imagine if it were a white Dj saying that he's HIV negative cause he doesn't mess with black women.
    Al Sharpton would be on every station calling for this guy's head.
    Where is Al Sharpton???

    December 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. A RaciPhobia

    Ignoramt idiots like you are always there to bring down the minorities. Get a life loser and go educate yourself on Fanm Haitienne. You are one ruthless coward

    January 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. REALLY!!

    Seriously???... O wow.. How would u like it if someone said don't mess with Hispanics because you'll end up in a ditch somewhere... He's luck that he didn't say that to me in person because I would have been arrested for an assault & possibly another charge.. His a** should be grateful that they didn't fire him... But i think this deserves further action.!!!

    January 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. REALLY!!

    If that's the case then all of you should be kissing the ground then because technically this isn't our land... the British and other came and forcefully took it from the Indians... If it was for that everyone would be somewhere totally different.. I thought this was the land of opportunity.. But now you can see that this is one nation that has some grimy hypocritical people who are always judging yourself a favor and find where your ancestors are from and see how they would react to you coming over...

    January 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
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