Joe Abel Obituary, Death – Joe Abel of Seattle, Washington has sadly passed away. When I learned about Joe Abel’s passing, I was astounded. For many years, he presided over the Seattle broadcast industry. When he collaborated with me on Seattle University games, I was happy. Godspeed, Joe, a KIRO legend.
In an editorial that was broadcast on Channel 7, KIRO Newsradio, and KSEA-FM on Martin Luther King Day, Abel expressed regret for his behavior and called attention to the issue. On Tuesday, stories concerning the blackface incident were shown on Channel 7 and KIRO-AM. When word of the performance by “Smokey Joe and the Sales Miracles” reached Flowers and a few other African American KIRO personnel, they were already working on a letter of complaint. To be included was a date of December 29. They also wrote the editorial’s initial draft, which Abel read.
We didn’t intend to injure anyone, but we did, and for that, I apologize, Abel stated. from the editorial. In his statement from yesterday, Abel said, “It just happened so quickly that I didn’t even stop to think.” It’s a challenging lesson to learn. Despite the fact that you may consider yourself to be sensitive, there are occasions when you need to consider everyone.
People think differently as a result of how the world is evolving. If true, according to some at KIRO, it underscores the necessity of raising racial awareness among employees. Nerissa Williams, a reporter, and anchor for KIRO-TV, claims that this was a racial crime. The protest letter Williams and Flowers co-wrote claims that the blackface act “conjured up stereotypes that people of good conscience have been trying to erase for years.”
Williams claimed that KIRO hasn’t ”cornered the market” on instances of racism. Following demonstrations against the use of blackface by many fraternities at the University of Washington last autumn, this incident took place. Three African-American newsroom staff members of The Seattle Times received KKK material on their desks in 1988.
Approximately 100 KIRO employees, according to Flowers, signed a letter to the organization’s CEO, Ken Hatch, calling for a public apology, racial awareness training for all staff members, and “changes in hiring practices to bring diversity at all levels, in all divisions” of the corporation. There are no African Americans working for KIRO Radio right now. Hatch learned of the event while on vacation in Hawaii on “Dec. 31 or Jan. 2.” He predicted that the other four blackface comedy players, who were also all salespeople, would apologize and face repercussions “inside the organization.”