Chris Curtis, a longtime sports radio producer for Boston’s WEEI, appeared to reference an offensive ethnic slur in connection to ESPN’s Mina Kimes.
During a bit on The Greg Hill Show, the hosts and producers were discussing “top-five nips.” With Dr. McGillicuddy’s, Skrewball and Fireball whiskeys being mentioned, it was clear the show intended for “nips” to be used as a slang term meaning mini liquor bottles. Curtis, however, threw that conversation off the rails when he casually responded with “Mina Kimes.” Nips is also an ethnic slur used against people of Japanese descent.
— Dave Cullinane (@davecullinane) March 22, 2023
Curtis is the producer not wearing a hat in the above video. Not only did Curtis reference Kimes in connection to an anti-Japanese slur, but he incorrectly assumed the ESPN star is Japanese. Kimes was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and is of Korean descent.
The clip of Curtis making the offensive remark was shared by Dave Cullinane, who produces Kirk Minihane’s Barstool podcast. Cullinane similarly shared video of Tony Massarotti making a racist joke about Black people last month. Massarotti co-hosts 98.5 The Sports Hub’s afternoon show in Boston and was suspended without pay for one week following the remark.
Curtis, who has worked in Boston sports radio for more than two decades, previously produced Minihane’s morning show on WEEI, which was co-hosted by Gerry Callahan. In 2018, the entire radio station suspended programming for mandatory sensitivity training following a string of offensive on-air remarks, culminated by WEEI host Christian Fauria using a stereotypical Asian accent while impersonating Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee.
According to Boston Globe media reporter Chad Finn, WEEI, which is owned by Audacy, has claimed Curtis meant to say the name of actress Mila Kunis, not Mina Kimes, during the “nips” conversation. Kinis is Ukrainian.
In going with that strange defense, Curtis will perhaps attempt to claim his remark was intended to be sexual, not racist. The only thing that is clear, however, is that Curtis said “Mina Kimes.” In response to this defense, Kimes has changed her Twitter profile picture to an image of Kunis.
Update: ESPN PR issued the following statement in response to this: “There is no place for these type of hateful comments, which were uncalled for and extremely offensive.”
[WEEI, via Dave Cullinane on Twitter]