August 26, 2016

A Caller Named “Dwayne From Swedesboro” Riles Up Philly Radio

The guy on the left is just a guy who plays hockey not named Dwayne. The guy on the right is a radio producer at sports station 97.5 The Fanatic named Pat Egan. The two are friends. The guy on the left let the guy on the right use his likeness to create a Twitter account and more. "Dwayne from Swedesboro" doesn't really exist. He's a fake caller.

The sports blog Crossing Broad exposed the behind the scene fake caller scandal on it's site and all hell broke loose at two Philadelphia area radio stations. Crossing Broad writes: "Dwayne’s shtick, as best as I can tell, is that of a white woman-crushing playa who fancies Mahogany Bath & Body Works 2-in-1 Hair and Body Shampoo. In fact, “Dwayne From Swedesboro” has reviewed that particular product on Amazon, writing, “I recently gifted some to my close friend Mikey Miss, and he’s now picking up women half his age and twice his energy level.” Dwayne’s other review came in 2008– for a Pulstar BE-1 Pulse Plug for his Mitsubishi Lancer. It seems the character of Dwayne has existed for some time."

"Dwayne" was voiced by producer Pat Egan and called into the station from another studio. "Dwayne" was mostly heard on The Mike "Mikey Miss" Missanelli show. The character was also heard on other shows at the station.

Missanelli has stated he did not know "Dwayne from Swedesboro" was a fake caller.

Sean Brace, a former host at the station, defended the characterization as a way to pump up the energy of the on air host: Again from Crossing Broad- So you might go to it, and you might start the show off, and Egan’s running around the hallways and you’d be like “Yo Pat, go call in.” Now this wasn’t started with me, this was started obviously when Jason Myrtetus was the producer. So Myrtetus is the assistant Program Director, and the producer of Missanelli’s show. Again, I have no problem with them steering the caller – I feel like people are like “I can’t believe there’s fake callers” – once in a while you gotta punch up somebody to rile your host up, that’s just what it’s all about, it’s about entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

ESPN host, Bomani Jones went to Twitter to talk about the obvious!

The obvious of course is a radio producer playing into every stereotypical portrayal and fear of African American men to attract White male listeners 25-34 and 35-54 to get higher ratings.

One of the harshest critics came from Josh Innes, a host on rival radio station 94 WIP. Innes devoted a portion of his show to discuss "Dwayne" and went on a rant against Mike Missanelli.

Innes posted a picture of the Blackface performer Al Jolson on his Twitter account with the caption "Caller into 97.5 The Fanatic."

Basically what you’re dealing with is 97.5 is run by a bunch of entitled white kids who portray black characters on the radio. Is that fair to say if we wanna throw a blanket over it? You’ve got guys who are in a pretty high position of power, like Myrtetus, who is orchestrating this entire ruse and lying to the audience, and not only lying to your audience, but doing a minstrel show. People went off on me because I posted a picture of Al Jolson last night, but that’s what that is. It’s a minstrel show when a goofy white guy not only calls as a black guy, builds an entire twitter account with pictures and everything. [-Josh Innes from Crossing Broad]

As a result of his twitter post Innes was FIRED!

After initially announcing there would be no suspensions or firings at 97.5 The Fanatic by host Mike Missanelli; three staffers (producer Pat Egan, executive producer and assistant Program Director Jason Myrtetus, and Program Director Matt Nahigian) were suspended today (or given unpaid vacation days) for three days by station owner Greater Media. They will back in their positions on August 31. 

Thanks to Crossing Broad for reporting on this story and bringing an end to the racist character "Dwayne From Swedesboro." Swedesboro, by the way, is a small town in southern New Jersey about 20 miles from Philadelphia.

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