HONOLULU — A Hawaii radio station has pulled two of its DJs off the air after they made insensitive comments about a local musician’s struggle with homelessness and hunger.
“Slick Vic” Harris and “KreyZ” Oshiro were pulled by Island 98.5 after the comments they made on Friday. Chuck Cotton, iHeartRadio Honolulu’s president, declined to comment to Hawaii News Now about whether Harris or Oshiro would remain at the company.
“The on air comments made by DJs “Slick Vic” Harris and “KreyZ” Oshiro this past Friday were highly insensitive and do not represent the values of Island 98.5 and our commitment to the communities we serve,” Cotton said.
During a fundraising telethon last Friday to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank, musician Paula Fuga told a story on air Friday about eating from a trash can when she was a child.
Harris responded: “Now, is it straight from a trash can, or do you put it on a plate first?”
Fuga appeared to try and brush off the comment.
“No, like I could cry thinking about it,” she said, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “Like in the dark with my hand from a trash can.”
She then asked the hosts, “Do you have a box of tissues?”
Harris then said: “No, but we got a trash can right over there by the bar.”
Oshiro replied: “What, just in case she’s hungry?”
“You’re going to make me cry,” Fuga said later. “What a jerk. Kids, even as an adult, don’t be jerks that make fun of you and your pain. You know what I mean? What the hell is your problem?”
Harris apologized. Fuga walked off the stage without singing another song.
Fuga said she had been in a joking mood before the comments were made but that the comments by the DJs were hurtful.
“I don’t wish anybody any ill will,” Fuga told Hawaii News Now. “I think the main thing is that there are hungry children in Hawaii and we still have to consider them and we have to do what we can to pull together and make sure that no other kid has to eat from a trash can. That is a very serious and deep thing and it’s not something to be laughing about.”
Harris was not present for Monday’s radio show. He issued a apology that was aired during his usual time slot.
“I knew right after that it was rude, inappropriate and definitely not funny,” Harris said. “I apologized right after, but the damage was already done. So right now, I wanted to take this time to make a formal apology for the thoughtless comments I made on the radio this past Friday.”
Oshiro did not immediately respond to a voicemail and a text message seeking comment.