The revelation of a Philadelphia sports talk radio show creating a fake black caller “Dwayne from Swedesboro” continues to have repercussions for 97.5 The Fanatic. As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Rob Tornoe, three station employees who were involved in the charade have been suspended by Greater Media.
Pat Egan, a producer who posed as “Dwayne” when calling into Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive-time show, has been suspended for three days. Also drawing three-day suspensions were Jason Myrtetus, the producer and on-air partner for Missanelli’s show who was in on the joke, and station program director Matt Nahigian. All three employees will be allowed to return to work on Wednesday.
Nahigian was scheduled to meet with Philadelphia Black Lives Matter organizer Asa Khalif on Friday morning, but there’s no word if that will still take place in light of the suspensions. Khalif was reportedly going to push for Egan to be suspended, though it’s unknown if he wanted a more severe penalty. Additionally, he was preparing to organize protests outside the station, but those have apparently now been postponed. Khalif also wanted the employees involved in the fake caller sham to take race sensitivity courses, but it’s not clear as to whether or not Greater Media imposed such a requirement with the suspensions.
According to Egan, Myrtetus and Nahigan, Missanelli never knew that “Dwayne from Swedesboro” was a character created and played by Egan. “Dwayne” also had a Twitter account (which has since been deleted) that was used to maintain the ruse with the “voice” of the character that has to be viewed as an offensive stereotype.
The controversy has also rippled to other Philly sports talk stations. Josh Innes of 94.1 WIP was fired for racially-tinged mocking of his rival following the fake caller revelation and posting an offensive tweet of an actor in blackface that may have been the final straw for management there.