After mistakenly calling an Ohio radio station while trying to reach a friend, 30-year-old Kellie Baker was reduced to sobs when she was mocked by the disc jockey who was on air at the time, DJ Mo.
Baker has Down syndrome and sometimes it can be a bit tricky to decipher exactly what she is trying to say, an impediment that DJ Mo immediately recognized and tried to turn into a bit for his show.
DJ Mo has been suspended from his position at Canton radio station 92.5 WDJQ.
The following is a partial transcript of the conversation between the two:
DJ Mo: Hey, I can’t — I, I, I— listen — I can’t understand you. Again I can’t be the first person to have told you that it’s tough to understand you.
Baker: Alright, never mind.
DJ Mo: Alright?
Baker: I’ll see ya later ok, bye
DJ Mo: K – Say it real slowly.
Baker: Never mind, never mind.
DJ Mo: No, say it real slowly. I want to try to figure this out. It’s a little game.
Later, he asked Baker if she knew who he was.
“No,” she replied.
“OK, so I can laugh at you and you won’t know who to call and say you’re offended. Very good."
Kara Ball, Baker’s sister admitted that it can be difficult to understand her sister at times. “Some people can understand her, but others have a hard time,” she said. “Sometimes, she cuts out a word or two. But still, she speaks English.”
DJ Mo made an on-air apology to Baker and also issued a statement via an audio file where he owned up to his actions and offered to meet Miss Baker to apologize in person. He also said, “At the time of the call, I honestly believed it was a prank. However, that doesn't excuse what happened or what I did. I take full responsibility. I am truly sorry and I hope I can earn your trust back.”
Baker’s family believes that the station screens and pre-records its calls and therefore the conversation between DJ Mo and Kellie never needed to reach airwaves. They initially wanted DJ Mo fired instead have decided to use the incident as a chance to spread awareness about the treatment of people with disabilities
Source: (The Daily Mail)