A Boston-area radio producer was suspended for purportedly using an ethnic slur to describe ESPN journalist Mina Kimes during an on-air segment.
On Wednesday, WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” co-hosts Greg Hill, Jermaine Wiggins and Courtney Cox discussed Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo’s plan to outlaw “nips,” or miniature liquor bottles, in the city as they are reportedly often littered and are too small to be recycled.
The trio then discussed their “top five nips” before Curtis interjected, “I’d probably go Mina Kimes,” referring to the ESPN NFL analyst, who is of Korean descent.
The term “nips” — shortened from Nippon — is also an ethnic slur directed toward Japanese people that gained prominence during World War II.
“Nips” can also be a slang term for “nipples.”
After a clip of Curtis’ comment went viral, he apologized on air on Thursday and claimed that he meant to say the name of American actress Mila Kunis.
In a pathetic failed attempt at a one-liner, I attempted to bring up Mila Kunis, which was not really that funny… sophomoric and sexist. But for reasons I don’t understand, I said Mina Kimes. That was never the intention for me to say her name. It had nothing to do with the subject matter and it dragged her into a controversy through no fault of her own regarding a slur and her race and that was not at all what my intention was, but it doesn’t matter because of the absolute chaos my words created for someone who’s just doing her job covering the NFL at ESPN. So I want to apologize to Mina Kimes. I want to apologize for a stupid, lame attempt at a joke, something that there’s just really no other way to put it… it was dumb and it was silly.
Curtis added that he has been suspended from the show until Wednesday next week.
WEEI’s parent company, Audacy, likewise told The Boston Globe that Curtis had mixed up the two names.
In a statement, ESPN stated, “There is no place for these types of hateful comments, which were uncalled for and extremely offensive.”
Kimes has reacted to the ordeal by changing her Twitter profile picture to a photo of Kunis.
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