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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Race row US DJ loses advertisers
DJ Don Imus appears on the Rev Al Sharpton's show
"Shock-jock" Don Imus has made several public apologies
Two major companies have pulled their advertising from the show of US disc jockey Don Imus, as the furore over his use of racist language continues.

Mr Imus had already been suspended for two weeks by the radio and TV outlets that broadcast his morning talk show.

Calls for the dismissal of the so-called "shock jock" are growing.

He caused public outrage last week by referring to the mostly black members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."

"Ho" is slang for prostitute and "nappy-headed" is a derogatory term for the hair of many black people.

Mr Imus has a history of making controversial comments. His show is also known for attracting prominent guests.

Sponsorship 'in jeopardy'

Proctor and Gamble and Staples announced on Tuesday night they would be pulling their advertising from Mr Imus's show.

We grew up in a world where racism exists and there's nothing we can do to change that
Matee Ajavon
Rutgers player

Staples spokesman Paul Capelli told the Associated Press news agency: "We weren't on today and are not planning on being on going forward."

Another sponsor, Bigelow Tea, said on its website that Mr Imus's remarks had its future sponsorship "in jeopardy".

Groups including the National Organization for Women and the National Association of Black Journalists have called for the DJ's resignation.

Civil rights leaders the Rev Jesse Jackson and the Rev Al Sharpton have also demanded his dismissal.

'Deplorable'

The 10 members of the Rutgers team spoke on Tuesday of their hurt over the "insensitive" comments Mr Imus made in his 4 April show.

Members of the Rutgers team at a press conference
Members of the Rutgers team say they are hurt by Mr Imus's remarks

One player, Matee Ajavon, said: "It kind of scars us. We grew up in a world where racism exists and there's nothing we can do to change that."

Coach C Vivian Stringer criticised him for "racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable".

The team has agreed to meet Mr Imus in private next week.

He has already made several public apologies, including on his Imus in the Morning show on Monday, when he said he was "a good person who said something bad".

Political fallout

Observers are waiting to see how the fallout affects Mr Imus's ability to attract big political names to his show.

Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd announced his candidacy there earlier this year.

Republican rival and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has appeared on Mr Imus's show in the past, said he considered his apologies to be sincere.

"I would appear on his program again, sure. I take him at his word," Mr Giuliani said.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president "believed that the apology was the absolute right thing to do" but that any further action was down to Mr Imus's employer.

CBS Radio and MSNBC have said he will be off air for two weeks from next Monday.

Mr Imus's radio show had about 3.5 million listeners a week in 2005, according to media research, and the MSNBC simulcast is estimated to draw about 330,000 viewers per week.




SEE ALSO
US DJ suspended over racist slur
10 Apr 07 |  Americas
Jackson demands racial slur ban
28 Nov 06 |  Entertainment

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