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WEEI's Chris Curtis suspended after using on-air racial slur regarding ESPN's Mina Kimes

WEEI's Chris Curtis suspended for on-air racial slur
WEEI's Chris Curtis suspended for on-air racial slur 00:20

BOSTON -- WEEI morning show producer Chris Curtis announced Thursday morning that he has been suspended for a week, after a clip of him using a racial slur in reference to ESPN's Mina Kimes went viral on Wednesday.

Curtis appeared briefly on "The Greg Hill Show" on Thursday to announce that he's being taken off the air until Wednesday of next week, and to apologize for the comments.

"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, her race, and is not at all what my intention was," Curtis stated. "But it doesn't matter because of the absolute chaos that my words created for someone who's just doing her job covering the NFL at ESPN."

Curtis mentioned Kimes on Tuesday's show, but a video tweeted by Dave Cullinane -- a producer for Barstool Sports' "The Kirk Minihane Show" -- on Wednesday brought attention to the comment.

The comment itself came while the show was discussing the proposal for small, single-size alcohol bottles to be banned for sale in the city of Boston. Curtis mentioned Kimes' name, though WEEI later stated that he had intended to reference actress Mila Kunis.

The slur references Japanese people, though Kimes is of Korean descent on her mother's side. ESPN issued a statement to The Boston Globe, saying, "There is no place for these type of hateful comments, which were uncalled for and extremely offensive."

Kimes, an NFL analyst at ESPN, changed her Twitter photo to an image of Kunis after WEEI issued that statement on Wednesday.

"I want to apologize to Mina Kimes. I want to apologize for the stupid, lame attempt at a joke. It was something that just, there's really no other way to put it. It was dumb and it was silly," Curtis said Thursday. "And it's brought a lot of things to the forefront for people that did nothing wrong. And it was all because I had a clumsy attempt to try and bring humor to a story in Boston. So I just want to apologize to the listeners of this show, specifically Mina Kimes as well. I'd just say that working here is the dream of my life. And it is not a privilege I take lightly. I love what this show is. I love the voice that I've been given on this show to be who I am, and I love making people laugh, I love talking about serious things, and I just want the listeners to know that I failed on Tuesday, and for that I apologize. And I just want you to know that this is not who I am and who we are as a show, but I fell short of that, so I just wanted to say a sincere apology to Mina Kimes and to the people here and elsewhere."

Curtis, who's worked at WEEI since 2013 and worked at 98.5 The Sports Hub for four years prior to that, announced his own suspension on the air.

"I'll be suspended, I'll be back on Wednesday of next week. So I will be leaving the show this morning, after this segment, and I'll be back next week," Curtis said. "And just wanted to make sure I had the opportunity with my own words in this chair to publicly apologize from the setting where the comments were made."

This marks the second high-profile suspension of a Boston sports radio personality in a span of a month, after 98.5 The Sports Hub's Tony Massarotti was suspended by the Beasley Broadcast Group for making racially insensitive comments on the air. 

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