Cipha, who co-hosts the station's morning show alongside hip-hop personality Peter Rosenberg, outraged Haitian listeners after making the joke, "The reason I'm HIV negative is 'cause I don't mess with Haitian girls." Although Cipha was quick to issue a full, on-air apology after making what he admitted was a "tasteless" joke, the station was immediately flooded with complaints from listeners.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the 34-year-old morning show host would be suspended indefinitely from his post at the station. A representative for Hot 97 explained that despite Cipha's apology, it was important to show listeners that their concerns were taken seriously. "Cipha made an immediate public apology and recognizes his insensitivity and the negative impact his comments have on all Haitians," explained Alex Cameron, SVP/Market Manager of Emmis-New York, the company which owns the station. "The Haitian community is an important part of our listenership whom we respect and value. The suspension is an indication of the importance we place on delivering a product that respects our Haitian audience." The DJ will also partake in "sensitivity training" that focuses on Haiti and the serious nature of the HIV/AIDS problem within the country.
DJ Cipha Sounds is a co-host of 'The Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg Show,' which airs weekdays morning from 5AM to 10AM on Hot 97.