The Charlotte Observer reported this morning that the Speed Channel has suspended pit reporter Ray Dunlap for a week for making comments deemed by some to be racially insensitive and disparaging about Hispanics on last weekend's edition of Michael Waltrip's "Trading Paint." Speed and Dunlap have confirmed the suspension.
NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston: "NASCAR is incredibly disappointed in remarks made by Ray Dunlap. His remarks do not reflect NASCAR's values. We were in contact with Speed executives right away and fully support the steps they've taken."
Speed spokesman Erik Arneson: "Ray has been on the air every week since coverage of the Craftsman Truck Series started here in 2004. We've had no other similar episodes and don't expect any in the future."
Ray Dunlap: "As a guest on 'Trading Paint,' you try to be edgy, controversial and entertaining. In a failed attempt at humor, I obviously crossed the line between funny and insensitive. For that, I am deeply sorry. I am a huge supporter of NASCAR's diversity initiative and am very proud to work in today's more progressive garage area. I look forward to seeing the fans at the race in Atlanta."
I watched the broadcast and while I am not a member of the PC nation, I couldn't help but think his comments we're going to get him in trouble. I don't recall now what they were, only that they were about NASCAR and its growing Hispanic audience (something about Texas and Miami maybe?). I'll be back with an update if I track down the transcript.
The article also said that even though Dunlap's comments had been questioned by a producer, the show was still approved for broadcast unedited. That makes the tallglassofmilk wonder if the producer--or other "approver"--is suspended also? And if not, why not?