Don Imus’ New Sidekick Speaks
Posted by Bossip Staff
Comedian Karith Foster had a chat with Essence and discusses her new job working with shock jock Don Imus:
Essence.com: What is it really like to work with Imus?
K.F.: He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He does have the grumpy old man demeanor. I’m not saying that is not who he is. That is definitely part of who he is. But he is definitely a very kind, gentle person. If I hadn’t seen that side, if I wasn’t aware of that side, then I don’t think this would be a position I would have considered. Our very first discussion—ever—was about the Rutgers situation and what he had said and my feelings about it. I’ve been in the comedy business for about ten years, and you (develop) a gauge for people; you can tell who is BSing you after the show. This man was truly, genuinely sincere and regretful for the hurt that he caused people. In that conversation he said he always made it a policy not to make fun of celebrities’ children or public figures and so forth because that’s not fair. And that (his comment) was wrong.
Essence.com: Did he call you first? I’m just curious how this happened.
K.F.: It was being at the right place at the right time. It was arranged through a manager. I remember very vividly when everything happened because my uncle had just passed away that weekend when everything broke, and he (Imus) was meeting with the Rutgers women. I remember thinking, Wow, I just wish I had been there to be able to say something. It’s kind of like the universe heard me.
Essence.com: I hear what you’re saying, but someone out there will say that you were hired to save face for Imus. Your reaction?
K.F.: (Long pause) Well, I am not here to defend the man. I am also not paid to be his policeman. I am here to contribute to a historically entertaining show. I have no issue whatsoever speaking up when I feel the need to. I feel as if I am here to represent. That is another reason I took the job. What an opportunity to be a positive role model, not just for African-Americans and not just for women, but especially African-American women.
Essence.com: Are you going to hold him accountable when he goes too far? Because sometimes he does.
K.F.: Absolutely. There is a fine line. The rules in comedy are this: All is fair in love and comedy, but it has to be funny. There is a fine line between being funny and malicious. But it’s a distinct line, and when you cross it, I think something should be said. And I think you should be held accountable.
K.F.: Listening to it and having heard the actual recording of the nappy-headed hos (incident), it was so obvious it wasn’t malicious. He was an old White guy trying to be young and hip and use the modern vernacular. And it wasn’t funny.
to read the interview in its entirety.