Haitian Community Wants Hot 97 Host Fired

Cipha Sounds' Apology After Comments Fall On Deaf Ears

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A popular disc jockey was under fire Tuesday for making controversial comments on the radio. He said he does not have HIV because “I do not mess with Haitian girls.”

He did apologize, but now, as CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, the Haitian community wants more than an apology; they want him to resign.

About 50 leaders, mostly from Haitian organizations, stood outside Hot 97 radio’s studios Tuesday morning to blast morning host “Cipha Sounds” – aka Luis Diaz — for making the statement on the air last Friday. That same statement was repeated verbatim by Brooklyn District Leader Rodneyse Bichotte, the first Haitian-American woman elected to any office in New York City.

“Radio host Cipha Sounds stated, ‘the reason I’m HIV negative is ’cause I do not mess with Haitian girls,’” Bichotte said.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was quick to add his thoughts.

“We are gathered here today to say to Hot 97, Cipha Sounds is guilty of a verbal hate crime,” Stringer announced to the crowd.

Later Friday morning, Cipha Sounds was forced to apologize.

“I made a stupid, tasteless joke that was a one-liner that was taken totally the wrong way. And I want to say sincerely that I apologize,” Sounds said on a YouTube video.

To which Local 1199 organizer John Alexis said: “Your statement, your apology, is not tolerated. It’s not accepted.”

Alexis was one of many speakers who noted that in 1990 tens of thousands of Haitians marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan to protest the Food and Drug Administration saying then that Haitians were a high-risk group for AIDS and should not donate blood. Now, they said, they are being tarnished again. At a time, they said, when Haitians are still recovering from the earthquake and more.

“As a Haitian woman, with a Haitian daughter, with many Haitian nieces and sisters, I say to them — again — hold your head up high!” said Carine Jocelyn of Diaspora Community Services.

Only one of the speakers said Cipha Sounds should be given a reprimand. The other 10 or so all said the radio station should fire him.

Hot 97 released the following statement: “Cipha Sounds will not be fired. He’s a young man who made a mistake. … Both Cipha Sounds and Hot 97 will offer continued support to the Haitian community.”

  • J. Garet

    During the 1980s Haitians high school students were being attacked and shot at due to these malicious label. I had to attend a high school far away in order to finish my high school years unmolested.

    Having said that, if my memory does not fail me, on a bright day more than two decades ago, I and 100,000 strong fellow Haitians, and concerned other ethnics group walked across the Brooklyn Bridge Challenging the CDC/ FDA on the scientific basis for such fallacious claim. That claim was laid to rest because it was not based on scientific facts but cultural hysteria. The fact of the matter is that HIV was brought to AYITI by tourist in the late 1970s just as CHOLERA has been brought to AYITI recently by the Asian unit of the UN forces.

    Due to complex historical reasons which this fool named cipha could not be imagined to understand, Ayiti has been crucified for 200 years and we as her sons, daughters say no more.. Our children of the collective diaspora should not be subjected to the public airway cacophony of such one half, babbling, educationally challenged idiotic fool called luis, cipha cipher whatever.

    Lastly, funny jokes are subjective; the Jewish people would not find German nazi jokes directed at them funny. These sayings, untruths, repeated with enough frequency have consequences.

  • Becareful of your words...

    @ Marie Clerveaux..it is evident that this guy is speaking from past or prior engagement with young haitian women. To be ignorant means lack of knowledge. Meaning something that he does not know, I and everyone else knows now what he knows.
    Yes, no-one is exempt other than those who indulge in monogamous mutual relationships.


    Hello, I’m probably older than all the viewers. I must say at my age after having 5 children, working hard for many years, living paycheck to paycheck, living for my children and struggling with depression. Laughter is the only medicine that no physician can write a prescription for.

    Life is too short, you only come around this block ONE TIME.



    • YOUR A$$ OFF.......


      • Joe Shmoe

        That’s exactly what I mean. Great point!! I have to go out and get it, thanks.

  • Relax

    Cipha sounds and the whole hot 97group make jokes constantly about other cultures and races.. This is nothing new, there is a radio- commerical that shows their humor, its the point of the show… Listeners get upset now and then about but its just jokes, Cipha makes jokes even about his own kind… Relax. Pushing to get him fired is extreme… What next they’re going to sue hot97 for the joke so they can to from eating cheap pizza to eating lobster? Well if they do sue and receive any money i hope they send it to Haiti and not use it for their pathetic needs.. Grow up

    • Joe Shmoe

      An apology should be suffice, there’s no need for him to have to resign. That’s ridiculous.

    • Marie Clerveaux

      I consider you to be as much an ignorant as Mr. Luis Diaz for saying this is a joke. Remember one thing, AIDS is not discriminated against a specific race, nationality or gender. God Bless.

  • I'll Represent You



  • Brooklyn Queen

    Get over it! He jokes about everything and everyone!! Including his own kind!
    Why do blacks always have to cry about something?? Let it go!!
    He is probably speaking from his own personal experience anyway.

    You will not make any money out of this, he will not be fired, so get over it!
    It wasnt that serious!!

    • Joe Shmoe

      I so agree with you, BQ. Always something to cry about. but when they do something it’s never wrong.

  • Put a purpose to it.....

    If it were not for the media hype and so-called sit behind a desk community leaders this young man would be sitting behind his microphone right now.
    His upper management has to set an example. It’s been blown completely out of proportion, people look for the most absurd reasons to sue or protest. Well, let your feet pound the pavement. This type of thing happens everyday, real life, comedy shows, roast, walk and bump….you name it.
    They want to protest…Protest, homelessness, hunger, murder, child neglect, no heat, rent too high…something more meaningful.

  • Nena

    Me as a Puerto Rican I’am so ashamed of Luis. I can’t belive he said something like this about Haitians. How can he say something like this about anyone. He’s apology is NOT good enogh for me!!! He should go to Haiti live the life they are living and volunter in a Hospital for a cople of months so he can see and feel what they are going through! LUIS ERES UN ASQUEROSO!!!!

  • Steve

    Get His Boricua ass out of HOT97 now, Where’s Wyclef???? Why he is silent about this?????

  • Get over it

    It was a joke im pretty sure he didn’t mean it because they joke about EVERYTHING, NOTHING is off limits you people actually think he believes what he said, it was a joke. They did a bit about selling Jay-Z JIgga Lips for Christmas, does they mean they think that all black people have Jay-z lips? No its a joke, a bad joke but a joke none the less. Its crazy at the amount of people who think he was serious about that, most of them don’t even listen to Hot 97 nor know what he does. He reps the Haitian community a lot when he DJ’s at clubs blasting their music. Let the man move on plus I’m pretty sure next week they’re going to start joking on another race anyway.

  • HUGO

    Send him to Haiti for 3 months.

    • Joe Shmoe

      After all the Assistance they received from Americans after the tragedy they experienced, they had the nerve to talk @#$% about America. Now the someone made a cheesy comment all hell breaks loose and now we have to bow to them. @#$% that!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jose L.

    Don Imus was suspended and then apologized and was reinstated. That Dr. “Whats her name” that said the “N” – word on radio so many times in one rant is still working. During a “Roast” of William Shatner on Comedy Channel a so called comedian shouted how he doesn’t trust Puerto Ricans. That guy was never corrected or fired. Rick Sanchez (citing racial/cultural bias) and Juan Wiliams were fired from jobs for Jewish and Muslim comments respectively. There’s a precedent of bashing each other that comes from the top down. Bigotry runs the country and shows in the workplace and the media and schools. Those who pretend otherwise are in denial, or hypocrites, or liars!

  • William Dupree

    OK, i would like to thanks everyone for theirs comments about this situation. I am 100% Haitian, yes it hurts so much to hear someone who actually talks to half of the world, to say something that ignorant. But that doesn’t changed my view on him or the rest of the world, but we are responsible for the actions we take as human being. It shouldn’t matter the race you are, there is a time and place for everything. Haitian people are very strong individuals and they have been fighting to be recognized as part of this world for such long time and we are still struggling through everything. Respect, love, supports, understanding, music, direction, i can go on forever.
    I think we all make mistakes and i totally encourage to learn from those that enlightening us with stupidities.
    Nothing is going to change me about what have been saying about those god precious Haitian women, but to make changes myself. A wise man told me once, “if you want to see a change, you must be that change yourself” and that’s who i am. i stand for change.

  • Mrs I. Understand

    I don’t think it was a matter of this young man fishing for someone to condone his comment. He was speaking his mind, the way he feels and apparently speaking from prior experience with the topic.
    Speak your mind and don’t apologize because the world expects it thereafter.
    The world would’nt be the way it is if everyone bit their tongue or apologized for injustice.

  • steve 102

    hey ,i think he was right

  • http://facebook.com/GladysHaitiAlley HAITIAN WOMAN HIV FREE

    No doubt we all want freedom of speech. But we also are sanctioned if we yell “fire” when it’s not true in a crowded place, for the common good of preventing danger to a “fleeing crowd.”

    We need to fight to protect each other’s right to expression.

    So, the DJ’s freedom of speech should not be violated.

    And members of the Haitian and all other communities, women and men offended/hurt by his joke should have their rights protected to protest and wage a campaign to boycott the radio station in response. The chips will fall where they may.

    It’s unfortunate, a dj would seek a fortune from making hurtful jokes. It’s not funny if it hurts. As a civilized society, we should not need to dictate to each other about being sensitive. We should just know and do better.

    I am a strong, healthy and intelligent Haitian woman: if it weren’t for news sources, I would not even know about this dj. Obviously, he needs to rise above his own stereotype of being part of the problem in our society! May he elevate his mind and heart.

  • Katy

    Another Idiot whit a stupid comment. Honestly this is a lesson for All Haitians to honestly claim themselves. it is not about waiting for moments like that to stand up. It should be done everyday! The image of us Haitians and Haiti is for us to brand it correctly. I feel sorry for the brainless DJ unfortunately a real Haitian woman with taste and values would not even look at him..Please! let alone let him mess with her….God, i live in London and i do not listen to hot 97…is that a radio station worthy of any Haitians time? in a time were our country is in deep pain?! Please Haitians claim yourselves!!

    • Harmless words.

      @ Katy, if you don’t listen then your comment is strictly hear-say.
      How do you know if this young man lacks the qualities that haitian women or any other culture would be attracted to ?
      Many years ago there was speculation that AIDS/HIV originated from Africa and made it’s travel around the map.
      Young people listen to these kids everyday and apparently enjoy them, things like this happen when they talk. You are doing just exactly what he did, speaking your mind!

  • Say and mean it

    In the funniest words of…Kevin Hart.
    Say it with your chest, don’t say something one minute and then turn around the next and Apologize.
    Stand behind your word…obviously you’re speaking from personal experience regarding haitian women.
    All women and men have one time or another been promiscuous. Hopefully in this day and time they exercise safe and common sense.

  • Change the damn station....

    I’m so sick of this…everyone seems to be a major cream puff all of a sudden. Everyone has to be politically correct to prevent from hurting someones’ feelings or being offensive. give me a damn break. They know what this Rap station talks about, they’re all young dumb and full of (um. Don’t like it change the channel, if they want to stand outside in 30 degree weather and protest…So Be It.
    What do they possibly think these guys are talking about….mortgage payments…water bills…stock market…HELLLLLLOOOOOO !

  • Ernie

    It does not matter what anyone says, everyone is bound to say something that will be offensive to someone else. If you ever watch a comedian show, the chances are great that they will commit a hate crime by someone’s standards. I guess the public will soon just outlaw joking.

  • Abigail

    I am part Scottish, Irish, English, French, German and a smidgen of Spanish. Wow what a mix! So if I were to take offense at all the jokes those cultures lobby at each other life would be way too stressful.

    Lighten up. He apologized and while he doesn’t look like the brightest penny in the pile, people say stupid, crass and insensitive things. It’s not worth causing a man to lose his job over.

    • Mrs I. Understand

      Kudos to you Abigail, the 2nd smartest person I know. The first is me (wink) !

      You could not have said it better, Happy Holidays to you and your family !

  • christine

    good thing the dj isnt white cause then it would be racist!!

  • C.J.

    “Tit in a wringer” That sounds painful….

  • Krystal Paulin

    There is a difference between a stereotypical joke which rings true, and one that completely and negligently mislabels an entire community and holds no truth to it. I think that those who feel this is simply a first amendment violation, or a lack of political correctness and nothing more, do not even understand what was being said in the DJ’s statement. Go back almost 20 years and read up on the march across the Brooklyn Bridge and what that was all about. Learn your facts, learn the truth, and then you can put your two cents in on something that you may have a fraction of an understanding on. “Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Anything” – Alexander Hamilton

    • Devenio

      Its people like you who make a mountain out of a molehill. Stupid joke is all it was. Now need for a history lesson and reading between lines of a stupid joke. You give this guy to much intelligence. “difference between a stereotypical joke which rings true, and one that completely and negligently mislabels an entire community and holds no truth to it. ” One could argue that both are true.

  • Devenio

    To my Haitians brothers and sisters protesting at Hot 97 as I write this: Don’t you have something more important to worry about than an idiot DJ? How about all those people dying in your country. Protest that. Get out there and let the world know that the pain still goes on.

  • Devenio

    We live in a society that has free speech as one of its guiding principles. Hence the reason I can say that any of you idiots calling for this guys dismissal over a stupid joke need to move back to the communist country you come from. The man have a right to say what he wants no matter how stupid it is.

  • patty

    Dorris u are so full of anger …why are you lashing out against the Haitians…..

  • Doris

    People need to get over it! I’m sick of idiots trying to censor everybody… guess what? This is a free country! We all have a RIGHT to an opinion… So, HAITIAN community and all you bleeding hearts…GET OVER IT! The time for PC is gonna be over soon!!! And when Haiti stops begging the international community for money and create their own GDP. then they could come forward to complain… GET OVER IT!!! If we continue this way, nobody will be able to say anything because some idiot is crying!!! Why is it that the hispanic community never complains when people make jokes about us, but when someone says something about some other ethnicity, people start crying! This is not HAITI! This is the US and he is protected under free speech… I’m so over this asinine trash!

    • John

      I feel some of you simpletons commenting on here are of bedlamized decent; better known as hispanics. Everyone wants to cry out “oh he has freedom of speech.” Half of you don’t even know what amendment that is. Anyway, just as Luis Diaz from the Bronx has freedom of speech, Haitians have the freedom of assembly which is under the first amendment for all you simpletons that are not aware. Haitians are assembling in front of Hot 97 for the common interest of getting Luis Diaz terminated. One cannot shun Haitians for practicing their first amendment right just as Luis Diaz practiced his on air. You simpletons can defend Luis Diaz but be logical when seeing the discontent from the other party.

      Side note: the dream act bill was killed for all you that may be concerned. :-)

    • Michael H.

      Freedom of speech does not include the right to be free from criticism.

      • John

        I concur.

    • Abigail

      tut tut, you need a zen moment

    • Phinestro Robert

      bound to say something that really was not thought of. of course people say things but most of all, its just such common sense if you play with fire you will burn and yes alot of racial jokes does get away with things of course. many do.but in these times and standards to make such joke of anything haitian or so..cmon..thats a smack. I wonder what wyclef jean thinks about this?..i

    • Marie Clerveaux


      With all due respect, you are more of an ignorant than Luis. Yes there is freedom of speech, but no one should label or single out a race or a culture when it’s come to AIDS because no one is exempt from it.

  • chase

    So C.J., I bet when it’s your tit in the wringer you yell as loud as anyone else.

  • Kate

    Mr. Diaz is like all other “rappers” — something nasty on the street that sticks to your foot. The style is offensive, toilet-mouthed, illiterate, sexist and racist.

    • Michael H.

      Kate, I think your post should be revised to say “most other “rappers””. There are plenty of hip hop artists whose lyrics are intelligent and thought provoking. Over generalizations don’t help your argument one bit.

  • C.J.

    So what? It was a joke. People are too sensitive these days.

  • patty

    how dare host Cipha stereotype and discriminate against Haitians..he should resign his post…

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