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San Diego TV station faces accusations of racism after ‘Baby Daddies’ segment

The KUSI building in Kearny Mesa
The KUSI building in Kearny Mesa.
(Kristian Carreon / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)
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A day after the San Diego chapter of the NAACP criticized a segment on the KUSI “Good Morning San Diego Show” about “Famous Baby Daddies” as racist, a KUSI executive said the station no longer will provide a platform to the “DSC Show.”

The segment aired Monday on KUSI’s morning show as part of a collaboration with the “DSC Show” on IHeartMedia radio.

The segment involved hosts guessing which of two named and pictured celebrity fathers had the most children with the most partners. Of the 18 celebrity fathers named in the segment, nine were Black.

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Black celebrity fathers were overrepresented in the segment, San Diego NAACP President Francine Maxwell said in a statement Tuesday.

“If we learned anything from the #MeToo movement, it is that powerful men of all races and walks of life sometimes use their power to obtain sexual favors,” Maxwell said. “By focusing on African American men, this content was obviously intended to denigrate them and feed into the lie that Black men are somehow more sexual than their white counterparts.”

Maxwell added that this stereotype has proved deadly for some Black men.

“This trope continued in the Jim Crow era, when Black men were regularly lynched on the excuse of sexual advances toward white women, often invented or imagined. Unspeakable things were done to Black men, while white men, women and even children watched with glee,” she said.

Maxwell called for KUSI to conduct an internal investigation to understand how the station came to air the segment and to include “a place for representatives of the community so damaged.”

Steve Cohen, news director for KUSI-TV, said Wednesday the station has asked the “DSC Show” to apologize to KUSI viewers for the segment’s racial insensitivity.

“KUSI believes that it is our goal to always present content that does not demean or appear insensitive to any minority, racial or ethnic group,” Cohen said in a statement. “This past Monday, a feature segment aired that did not meet that standard. The segment created by the 101.5 KGB radio program, The DSC Show, was inappropriate and an affront to our African/ American community and our viewers.”

The statement said that KUSI asked 101.5 KGB to offer an apology on KUSI and officials at KGB declined.

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“As a result, KUSI has decided to no longer provide a platform for the KGB - DSC Show,” the statement said. “KUSI will be contacting our NAACP chapter and its president to further discuss this incident.”

Officials with the “DSC Show” did not respond to requests for comment.

KUSI-TV is an independent local station and not affiliated with a broadcast network. It is owned by McKinnon Broadcasting Co.

McKinnon Broadcasting General Manager Michael McKinnon has been described in news reports as a long-time supporter of politically conservative candidates and causes.

Maxwell said in a telephone interview Wednesday that when she first received screenshots about the segment, she was so surprised by the content she wondered whether it was a prank. Within 90 minutes, more than 40 people had contacted the NAACP about the show.

“I don’t know if somebody didn’t take the course on Sensitivity 101, but I don’t think the community would have reached out with such disgust” if the segment had not focused unfairly on Black celebrity fathers, she said.

Maxwell said that someone from KUSI has contacted the San Diego NAACP to discuss the segment.

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