For the second time in a month, one of Walt Disney’s Los Angeles radio stations has been targeted by black protesters.
Several dozen picketers on Monday patrolled the gates of KABC AM talk station on La Cienega Boulevard. They carried signs blasting morning hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou over a recent broadcast of the “John & Ken Show.”
City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas led the protest.
He appeared on KABC last Tuesday to discuss a plan to woo an NFL team to the L.A. Coliseum. Ridley-Thomas says things quickly turned ugly, with the hosts deriding residents of the Exposition Park area around the stadium as “gang-type thugs.”
According to a transcript released by Ridley-Thomas, the hosts added: “You’re not going to get regular families to show up and … drive around that filthy neighborhood. Come on.”
Ridley-Thomas spokesman Lizanne Fleming said the councilman and protesters consider that and other remarks “racially inflammatory.”
After picketing, the protesters met with KABC General Manager Bill Sommers, who had not heard a tape of the broadcast or seen a transcript.
“Opinions were expressed, and that’s what talk radio is all about,” Sommers said. “All sides have had an opportunity to speak.”
Disney still faces backlash and two employee lawsuits over a promotion by its rock station KLOS-FM. To tie in with spots aired last year on the ayem “Mark & Brian Show,” the station gave out plastic gardening tools called “Black Hoes” — slang sometimes referring to black prostitutes.
Disney apologized in late August after a storm of protests led by groups such as the NAACP and the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.