LisaRaye defends former radio host who compared Black women to shades of toast

Actress LisaRaye McCoy says society is 'so sensitive now' after New York radio host Rob Lederman was fired for colorist comments

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LisaRaye McCoy is at odds with social media as well as her Cocktails with Queens co-hosts over her reaction to crass comments from a former radio host who Black women to levels of a toaster.

Earlier this week on the talk show, McCoy defended Rob Lederman, who was a DJ for the WGRF 97 Rock station in upstate New York. The actress sparked division on the program and outrage on Twitter for her response.

It all began when co-host Claudia Jordan started a discussion about Lederman, who explained how he uses a toaster dial to gauge the attractiveness of Black women. He name dropped tennis star Serena Williams, saying that her skin tone was too dark for his liking.

LisaRaye McCoy thegrio.com
LisaRaye McCoy (Getty Images)

Lederman, who is white, uttered the words on March 24 during The Morning Bull Show on the Buffalo, New York radio station.

After playing a clip, Jordan and co-host Syleena Johnson condemned Lederman’s comments. Actress Vivica A. Fox is also a co-host of Cocktails with Queens.

“You ain’t sh-t,” Johnson said of Lederman, noting that Williams is married to a billionaire white man.

McCoy interjected with a different perspective.

“Wait a minute. What I heard was an opinion,” she stated. “I heard that he’s saying that he won’t go as far as a dark-skinned Black woman. He’s comfortable with going with the color of a Halle Berry. What’s wrong with that?”

“That’s colorism! He could’ve said that differently,” Johnson said.

Jordan agreed, saying, “There are certain things that you just cannot belt out on the airwaves that’s getting sponsorships and catering to a mass audience.” She called it “insensitive to compare us to toast.”

A screenshot of a ‘Cocktails with the Queens’ episode featuring hosts Claudia Jordan, Vivica A. Fox, LisaRaye McCoy and Syleena Johnson

However, McCoy stood firm on her opinion that what Lederman said was not that big of a deal.

“I’m not there with it. I just think that we’re so sensitive now,” she said.

Fox finally spoke up, saying to McCoy, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. He tried to do it for shock value and it was an epic fail.”

Cocktails with Queens streams on Fox Soul.

WGRF, which is owned by Cumulus Media, fired Lederman in the wake of the controversy, WKBW-TV reports. Rich “Bull” Gaenzler and Chris Klein, hosts of The Morning Bull Show, received suspensions for their involvement.

The situation began more than a week ago when Lederman appeared on the radio show.

“I will never go to a Serena Williams level, but I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level,” Lederman said. “I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through.”

A clip of the discussion was posted to Twitter by sportswriter Marcel Louis-Jacques and received thousands of retweets.

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WGRF lost sponsorships and advertising from some local businesses, including the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation and West Herr auto group, WKBW-TV reported.

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Not only did McCoy’s co-hosts disagree with her, so did many on social media. Many people took to Twitter to post their displeasure with McCoy’s stance on the comments. One person stated that McCoy was aware that her own light complexion helped her get famous:

Another user stated that McCoy is “uninformed” about the subject of colorism:

While some just got straight to the point:

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