R&B artist/actor Tyrese Gibson says he was ejected from QC Communications’ Urban WJKS Kiss 101.7 Wilmington, DE mid-interview on 9/27 after management objected to his comments about liquor stores near schools.
The Transformers star sat down for a chat about his latest album at KISS 101.7 and during the interview he urged local officials to ban liquor stores near schools after seeing one on his way to the station.
He told the DJ, “Get them cats out of here… selling alcohol right across from your kids school, homie – put the pressure on them homie… you know how to put pressure on dudes selling in your hood.”
He was asked to leave during the commercial break. The owner of the radio station confirmed the incident to TMZ.com, saying he felt Gibson was “disrespecting” the Delaware community.
In a post on his Twitter.com page, Gibson writes, “I just (got) kicked out of a radio station frm (from) a (program director) who had a problem w/ (with) me speaking on liquor stores that are by elementary schools in Delaware… If you don’t stand for something… You will damn near fall for anything.”
Station owner and PD Tony Quarterone gave RBR-TVBR his side of the story. He also spent three hours on-air talking about this on 9/28. Tony Q spend years as PD at WRKS-FM NY (Kiss FM) and later Power 99 (WUSL-FM) in Philly:
(Listen to the audio, above, supplied by Tony Q).
“I was leaving an appointment, I turned the station on and I hear him ranting and raving that he went into a store top buy a Pepsi and a Snickers bar. When he entered the store, he was shocked to find out that it turned out to be a liquor store. He went on their air (if you want to stereotype Black people, then this is not the place to do it on): “Homies, you’ve got to do something about this. It’s your responsibility to stop liquor stores from being around schools.”
My jock replied with, “Listen, Tyrese, this is not the only state that has liquor stores.”
He replied, “I don’t care, I’m in Delaware now and this is what I see.”
“We did not cut him off. Then he started to do this rage about liquor stores, only because he was getting ready to start promoting an appearance he was doing at the local college to talk about his book—a book signing that he was doing and a performance at the University of Delaware.
First of all, it is a privilege to be interviewed on this station. 2). We were one of the few stations playing his record and 3). If he’s going to come into my state and degrade my audience by calling them homies and all of that crap, I don’t have room for that on the air. Prejudice is alive and doing very, very well and if you’re going to knock your own culture, then you don’t belong on the air.”
“Again, he was never taken off the air. We never turned off the mic and told him to get out. But I had a problem degrading my audience. Do I agree with liquor shops being near schools? Of course not. If parents want to do something about it then I’ll stand behind them. But I’m not going to have an artist come on the air and slang and degrade and stereotype my audience. It ain’t going to happen. But I understand why he wanted to rev-up the audience—to promote his personal appearance so he got a free infomercial out of that. The college never promoted that, not on this station. What he did was make an interview into a 15-minute informercial about his book and about his personal appearance. I have a problem with that. He was supposed to talk about his music. Not the homies and book signing.”
“We let him finish the interview—the jock said it was done, thank you and went on to the next thing.”
“Then he went on his Twitter episode. Now there’s no neon sign on my forehead saying, “asshole.” The audience didn’t think he was yanked off. He left the station and went to the hotel across the way from. He didn’t like his room or something and the hotel eventually threw him out. So I don’t know who’s more touched—me or him. There’s enough prejudice in this world and it’s very strong in the State of Delaware, which I have to face everyday as an owner of a company. People are not rushing to advertise on Black radio and I don’t need someone in that culture to degrade the culture even more.”
Tony Q has since pulled all of Tyrese’s songs.