A white producer at the Philadelphia sports talk station 97.5 The Fanatic has sparked controversy after he created a black persona based on stereotypes to call into the station.
"Dwayne from Swedesboro" was a regular caller for the Mike Missanelli Show. The character, who claimed to be an African American man, often talked about his love for white women as well as his fear of having illegitimate children. He even had a Twitter account with a black man in the profile picture.
A recent report from Crossing Broad however reveals that "Dwayne from Swedesboro," was actually Pat Egan, a white producer at 97.5.
“I think the fact that it was a young white kid doing sort of like the stereotype of a black guy made it a lot worse and sort of just like piled on whatever that initial shock was,” said Kyle Scott, a blogger for Crossing Broad who wrote the story.
In a series of tweets, Egan seemed to admit to creating the character as an "exact opposite" of himself.
News that the character was fake sparked a mixed reaction with some criticizing the character’s stereotypical nature.
“It just seems that there are so many racial issues going on in the country,” said Tony Marchionne of Collingswood, New Jersey. “Why do we continue to promote these stereotypes?”
Some fans of the show didn’t find the character offensive, however, and instead believed he was simply entertaining.
“I didn’t take it as being extremely racial at all,” said Dave Whitman of Lansdale. “I kind of saw it more as just kind of a crazy, funny guy creating a reason to talk.”
Mike Missanelli directly addressed the controversy on his show Tuesday.
“The only thing I can do is tell you that I wasn’t in on it and I had no idea about it,” he said. “If you don’t want to believe that, that’s your choice. I could tell you first hand that had I known this was a fake I would have shut it down immediately because I would’ve been sensitive to the racial undertones of it.”
It’s unclear whether anyone at the radio station will be disciplined for the character. NBC10 reached out to 97.5 for comment but we have not yet heard back.