Matt Siegel, a radio host at Boston’s KISS-108 who stormed off of his show on Wednesday after being told not to make jokes about Demi Lovato’s non-binary announcement earlier that morning, returned to his post on Thursday morning.
“I’m here. Good morning,” the veteran host said before addressing the issue on the air, according to Boston.com. Siegel, known as “Matty in the Morning” and a staple on the station since 1981, said he had been told by the station’s management to stop talking about Lovato’s announcement.
“I was on a roll and really enjoying it and feeling like the old Matty on the air,” he said. “That’s when I got the call to stop talking about it, and I just snapped. I just said, ‘I can’t be here anymore.’”
Lovato announced early Wednesday morning that they now use they/them pronouns. “Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all- I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary & will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward,” the singer said on social media.
Siegel had expressed his feelings about Lovato’s announcement during an interview Wednesday. “I’m against her binary thing,” he said. “I think she’s a troubled woman, and a lot of young people are taking her seriously, and it bothers me. But of course, it’s a comedy show, so I did it in the context of jokes.” On Thursday, he said that his wife had advised him not to end his career “over bleeping Demi Lovato.” He also said the station’s management had asked him not to quit and that he had its “full support” and the “freedom to say what I want.”
“So I won that battle,” he said.
Siegel exited his show on Wednesday, saying, “Basically what I’m told is I can talk about light, funny things like where the Jonas Brothers are gonna be, but I can’t do what I really want to do, which is just be a funny comic who tells it like it is. So I’m ending my portion of the radio show right now …. I am the biggest of all time, and they said, ‘Shut up, Matt! Stop talking. Well, I hope you’re happy, because I just stopped talking. Matty out.”
Early Wednesday afternoon, a source told Variety that iHeartMedia, which owns Boston’s KISS-108, and radio giant Cumulus Media had warned their stations not to comment on Lovato’s announcement. Reps for both companies said there had been no such national directive, although an iHeart rep said it was possible regional managers could have sent one; a rep for iHeart Boston did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.