The co-hosts of The morning detour are denouncing the Montreal International Jazz Festival for revoking host media accreditation to cover a July 9 performance by the band.
The show airs on CKUT 90.3FM, a non-profit community radio station based at McGill University.
Svetlana Chernienko and Ian Thomas say their media accreditation was withdrawn hours before jazz band The Roots were scheduled to play.
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The black co-hosts claim they were racially discriminated against, saying the only reason they were given for having their accreditation revoked was that other black media outlets around the world were already covering the concert.
“There was systemic discrimination and it was very obvious to me,” Chernienko said at a news conference on Friday.
The co-hosts insist that it makes no sense to allow other black media outlets to cover a group in Montreal, but not local black radio co-hosts.
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“If you want to bring down great black artists, you should let black media, albeit the only black media in town, come cover them,” Thomas said.
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The co-hosts apologize to jazz festival organizers and demand the dismissal of an employee.
“Very dismissive. She was like, no, you don’t come in and that was it,” Thomas said.
Global News has made several requests for comment to the jazz festival, but no response has been received.
Thomas and Chernienko say they hoped to cover The Roots’ performance as well as interview one of its members.
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A black advocacy group says jazz festival management needs to better educate its employees.
“(They need to) review their procedures and the way they treat people and maybe do some sensitivity training because obviously it’s needed,” said Joan Lee, president of the West Island Black Community Association. , to Global News.
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