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MPR's Only Black Classical Music Host Fired


Garrett McQueen
Garrett McQueen

Garrett McQueen, Minnesota Public Radio's only Black classical music host, has been fired by American Public Media Group. McQueen announced his firing on his social media accounts Thursday morning.

According to McQueen, he was taken off the air after his shift on Aug. 25. He was then given two warnings - one of which was about his need to improve communication and the other for switching out scheduled music to play pieces he felt were more appropriate.

McQueen told MPR News: "When things happened in the news or when there were hours of programming that only represented dead white men, I would take it upon myself to change that. That always got lots of really positive feedback, but it's not exactly what protocol calls for."

McQueen joined Classical 24 in June 2018 working the overnight shift Monday through Thursday. McQueen also hosted Classical MPR's first-ever Juneteenth special.

McQueen added, "And let's just face it, with George Floyd and all of those things, there was a lot of pressure for me to engage the audience while that's happening. I'm on the air, literally while the 3rd Precinct is being burned down. So, it's my responsibility to make sure that the programming spoke to that and that's what I did."

In a written statement American Public Media Group said: "We are proud of the programming we delivered with Garrett and are grateful for his work bringing the powerful experience of classical music to listeners across the country. We continue to support his efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in classical music, and we wish him all the best in his next steps."

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