Polaneczky: 'The Fanatic's' Egan apologizes on-air
Asa Khalif, head of Black Lives Matter -Pennsylvania, tells me he had a very respectful, hopeful and productive meeting last week with Matt Nahigian, program director at 97.5 The Fanatic, in the wake of the sports station's "Dwayne from Swedesboro" debacle.
As a result, he says, Pat Egan, the white Fanatic producer who created the fictitious "Dwayne," gave a formal, on-air apology on Wednesday.
"I just want to say that I am sorry. I deeply regret my involvement in regards to 'Dwayne from Swedesboro,' a fictional character that I created," Egan said. "I'm sorry to everybody in the African-American community, to the listeners of this station and to the employees of this station. I've learned a lot from this and I vow to never let anything like this ever happen again. Once again, I deeply apologize."
A statement on the station's website also apologized for Egan and the other two employees, saying: "This fictional character perpetuated racial stereotypes that are offensive and unacceptable, and are contrary to the values of our company as well as our employees."
Khalif and listeners of all races were appalled by Egan's phony "Dwayne" character, who embodied negative sterotypes of black men.
Khalif says the station has also agreed to do racial-sensitivity training with staff and discuss how the Fanatic can diversify its on-air presence.
"We're all about building bridges," Khalif says. "This is a very good start."