BURBANK (CBS) — A coalition of Southland community leaders called on advertisers Thursday to pull their ads from a popular talk radio show over comments on illegal immigration.
Around 100 protesters were expected to join the demonstration in Burbank demanding KFI 640 AM remove hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou for what organizers called “hate speech”.
Some 30 organizations are expected to participate in the protest led by The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), including the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Jewish Labor Committee Western Region, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the National Council of La Raza(NCLR).
“We will hold the peaceful demonstration in exercise of our freedom of speech protesting John and Ken’s demonization of Latinos and others with which they disagree,” said Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
The so-called “Take John and Ken off the Air” Campaign started after the show’s hosts gave out a phone number for the voice mail of activist Jorge-Mario Cabrera, the Orange County Register reported.
Cabrera had recently spoke out in support of the passage of the California Dream Act, a bill that would extend state-funded college financial to illegal immigrants who graduated from California high schools.
Cabrera was reportedly inundated with up to 450 vulgar messages, the Register reported.
Despite the calls to fire John and Ken, KFI 640 AM voiced their support for the controversial hosts.
“Expressing your opinion is not a firing offense. KFI stands behind John and Ken and their right to speak their minds- opinions shared, incidentally, by over a million California listeners each week and protected by the First Amendment,” the station said in a written statement.