Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck are radio hosts who were swiftly fired after making racist comments on the air during their Tuesday show. Known as “Kimberly and Beck,” the duo commented on the civil rights protests taking place all over the country, with Ray in particular referencing a racial slur as a way to describe the people protesting and rioting.
Robert J. Morgan, president of the upstate New York market for iHeartMedia, offered a statement to explain the termination of Ray and Beck: “We made the decision to terminate Kimberly and Beck yesterday as soon as we learned of their comments and informed them early this morning. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior, which is antithetical to our core values and beliefs and to our commitment to our community and everyone in it.”
Here is the clip below, in which Ray said to Beck that she thought rioters were “behaving n-wordly.”
Deanna King, another radio host for iHeartRadio, swiftly denounced the words of her colleagues. She said in part, “I have never and would never spew such racist hate. I’ve told management I won’t work at a company that employs people like this. I’m raising my children to love everyone and stand up for what is right. I will, too.”
Neither Ray nor Beck have made statements following their termination. This isn’t the first time either one of them has been fired for insensitive comments.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ray & Beck Have Previously Been Fired for Making Transphobic Comments On-Air
In May 2014, Ray and Beck were fired from another Rochester-based radio station, 98.9 The Buzz, for making transphobic comments on the air. Throughout the approximate 12-minute segment, Ray and Beck repeatedly mocked transgender people using stereotypes and insensitive jokes, playing the song “Dude Looks Like a Lady” at one point.
At one point, Ray said, “Gender-nonconforming. What the hell does that mean?”
At another point, Ray said, “you’re probably a nut job to begin with” in reference to anyone who elects to have gender reassignment surgery.
You can listen to the clip here:
Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder wrote of the incident,
Amid a stream of transphobic jokes, willful ignorance, and nasty slurs, Kimberly has the gall to suggest that she understands all the ‘sensitivities’ involved in transgender issues. Of course, that’s only when she’s confronted by an impressively brave and eloquent caller who does their best to push back against the morass of prejudice with a little education — ‘[this is] incredibly disrespectful toward transgender people.’ Not that it does much good: Before kicking them off the air, another host, perceiving the caller to be female, says: ‘Thank you,sir.’
Ray and Beck were hired by a different radio station, 95.1, a mere four months after this incident. They’ve been at that radio station since but were fired on Wednesday.
In March, Beck Called Coronavirus ‘the KKK of Diseases’ & Said ‘White Lives Matter’
In recent months, Ray and Beck have also made inaccurate and racist statements about COVID-19, specifically regarding what races were dying of the disease in the highest percentages.
After listening to a caller who falsely stated on the air that white people were dying at disproportionate rates of COVID-19 (the exact opposite is true; black people in America are dying of COVID-19 at much higher rates than white people), Beck said that the virus was the “KKK of diseases,” and went on to reaffirm, “White lives matter.”