In a strange turn of events, Oklahoma City-based hip hop performer Jabee Williams was booted off of KSBI's “Oklahoma Live!” set Monday morning.
According to a statement issued Monday afternoon, Williams, 30, and his backing band were unloading equipment when executive producer Ted Maguire met with Williams in KSBI's studio. Jabee was told there was an oversight and his band needed to leave. When pressed for more information about the oversight, the statement claimed Maguire had not realized Jabee was a hip-hop act and the station was moving in a different direction with its music guests.
“It was a blatant form of discrimination,” Williams shared in a Facebook post. “We were treated and talked to so rudely that we thought it was a joke.”
Williams and his band left without performing or being interviewed about his recent local Emmy win.
Williams' music has gained local and national acclaim. He has been featured on XXL Magazine and recently collaborated with Murs and EL-P on his 2013 album “Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt.”
KSBI President and CEO Vince Orza released a statement to The Oklahoman Monday afternoon.
According to the statement, Williams’ performance was canceled by mistake. “Oklahoma Live!” doesn't typically feature rap or heavy metal although Jabee has appeared on “Oklahoma Live!” twice. Most recently he performed in 2013. Orza was in the hospital when the scheduling incident occurred Monday morning and didn't hear about the scheduling mistake until Monday afternoon. He has since apologized and noted that Williams shouldn't have been asked to leave.
“Jabee should have been allowed to perform. He is a professional, who showed up on time, ready to entertain our audience as he has in the past,” Orza said in a statement. “I wanted him to hear directly from me that he is welcome to perform on 'Oklahoma Live!' and KSBI. I apologized to him, and he very graciously thanked me for calling.”