A phone call to a Canton area radio station made by Kellie Baker, a 30-year-old with Down Syndrome, was the source of amusement for one disc jockey at WDJQ.
"Can I talk to Kelly Ann Burkhart please," this was the question asked by Kellie on air.
Kellie is admittedly not the easiest person to understand and a DJ, who goes by the name Mo, thought this was the perfect time to let everyone know.
Listeners heard Mo ask Kellie to repeat herself over and over and over again.
"Kelly Ann Burkhart that's my friend," said Kellie.
Listeners of the radio show could hear Kellie repeatedly trying to end the call but Mo keeps her on the air.
At one point he asks her if she knows who Mo is and she says no.
His mocking continues with, "You don't know who Mo is? Ok, so I can laugh at you and you won't know who to call to say you're offended. Ha Ha. Very good."
When we spoke to Kellie to ask her how she felt, she had this to say, "Yes, I'm sick and tired of it. I don't like it."
Luckily Kellie has a supportive family and their push back at the radio station began almost immediately.
Kellie's sister called the radio station to give Mo a piece of her mind and he responded with, "Well she called the radio station, she should be aware of who she's calling. It's fair game."
We thought that someone from the WDJQ might think that a good way to handle this would be to give Kellie a tour of the studios at the radio station or apologize. So we headed there to ask them.
When 19 Action News showed up at the station, all we got from behind a closed door was a note with the phone number of the station's lawyer.
Hours after we left the raido station Q92 sent this statement to 19 Action News:
Q92 and The Mo Show would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its support of efforts to raise awareness regarding the challenges faced by people with developmental disabilities. Specifically, the station wishes to sincerely apologize again for any actions or comments that could be construed as making light of the challenges faced by persons that are developmentally disabled or casting those persons in any humorous light. The station's policy is to treat our callers and listeners with the utmost respect, professionalism, and sensitivity.
Q92 and Ms. Baker's family have been in communication since the call aired on January 21 with the goal of raising awareness regarding the challenges faced by people with developmental disabilities. When contacted by the family on January 22, the station immediately apologized and reiterates its policy of treating all callers and listeners with the utmost respect and professionalism. The station has engaged with Ms. Baker's family in an effort to work in conjunction with Natalie Lupi, superintendent of the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Bill Green, superintendent of the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities to discuss opportunities to collaborate in raising awareness towards people who are developmentally disabled. Q92 is committed to continuing to work with Ms. Baker's family and these important community organizations to promote these goals.
For more details and to see a transcript of the entire ordeal click here.
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