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'Big G' to blame Gray for his firing from WKYS

Tim Craig

Actor and singer Anwar "Big G" Glover has scheduled a news conference for Sunday to allege that he was fired from his job as a radio personality for supporting Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's reelection, saying WKYS (93.9 FM) was pressured by Fenty's rival, Vincent C. Gray.

Glover, one the city's best-known go-go performers and who has appeared as an actor in the HBO series "The Wire" and "Treme," said he was fired Friday after he refused an "ultimatum" from station management that he tone down his support for Fenty.

"Mr. Glover is astonished that on the eve of the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech, in which he called for racial equality and protection out of inalienable rights, that his First Amendment rights were violated and he was subsequently the target of retaliation," a statement announcing the news conference said.

Officials at WKYS were not available for comment Saturday.

The news conference, to be held at the Big Chair in Southeast Washington, is being organized by Fenty friend and adviser Ronald Moten, who has been trying to rally go-go music fans behind the mayor. The news advisory says Fenty will also attend the news conference. Sean Madigan, Fenty's campaign spokesman, was not immediately available to comment.

Glover, the lead singer in the Backyard Band, plans to allege that Gray "called WKYS" and demanded his firing. WKYS is owned by Radio One, which has contributed $500 to the campaigns of both Gray and Fenty.

"His vicious political tactics speak to Vince Gray's true leadership, character and integrity," the press advisory states.

Traci Hughes, a Gray spokeswoman, said Gray "doesn't even know who Big G is."

"Whatever claims they are going to be making, I would highly doubt their credibility," Hughes said. "If he has an issue being let go, that is between him and human resources. This does not have anything to do with the Gray campaign."

Moten and Glover declined further comment until the press conference.

Glover, a Columbia Heights native, has been close to the mayor ever since Fenty, then a council member, wrote a letter to a Superior Court judge in 2004 requesting leniency for Glover after he was arrested on gun charges. He ended up with probation.

In the mayoral race, Glover has performed at go-go concerts sponsored by the Fenty campaign and appears in songs that Moten has produced in support of the mayor.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  August 28, 2010; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray , vincent gray  
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Comments

Fenty has become as entertaining as Barry used to be. He has crashed and burned as fast as he rose.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | August 28, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. And the Wire and the WaPo gives credence to it? What an act of desperation.

Posted by: tacard1 | August 28, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Tacard,

In the heat of a campaign, we figure our readers like to know what's going on so they can form their own opinions about what to give credence to. We gave you what we know at this moment, with reaction from the Gray campaign, and will update this post tomorrow after more concrete information is available about the nature of the allegations.

Feel free to contact me, at craigt@washpost.com, if you have any further questions.
Tim

Posted by: Tim Craig | August 28, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Big G, you have a First Amendment right to stand at the Lincoln Memorial and speak your mind. No where does the First Amendment say you, Dr. Laura, Sarah Palin or any other person has a right to exercise their First Amendment rights via a privately owned media outlet. Make outreach to Fox News. Your GOP oriented politics are welcome there.

Posted by: bob_dylan_rocks | August 28, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

UrbanDweller.. and let us all hope that Mr. Gray does not rise.. so we sink this city back to the 20th century.

Posted by: pdv1 | August 28, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Tim Craig, what allegations? these are not allegations. This is just down right stupid. U and the washington post have clearly sunk to low debts of journalism. I agree with most bloggers about you. You and your paper are just bad. Most will discontinue reading. If the times had a clue.

Antwan Glover is a crook. enough said. No politician would call for his firing. why would they? it helps the gray campaign. man are you really stupid.

Posted by: dcresident8 | August 28, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm.

Or maybe station management, seeing that popular opinion is with Vince Gray, doesn't want to lose audience because they are turned off by Fenty boosterism.

This is a freaking joke, and the idea that Ron Moten is an "Advisor" to the Fenty campaign is something that needs to be investigated, given his relationship to a 501C3 non-profit organization that is also receiving 6 and 7 figure contracts from the city.

So just who are the Fenty canvassers and how are the getting paid? Why do they drive vans with MD tags?

Tim, how about researching that?

Posted by: LukasWP | August 28, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Mr. Craig. I have to call shenanigans on this news story you wrote about the announcement.

A news conference organized by Fenty strategist Ron Moten, featuring a guy arrested on gun charges, who then got then-Councilmember Fenty to write a letter to the judge on his behalf.

?!?!?

That's a funny satire the Gray campaign staffers might write about their opponent. It is not a press event designed to solidify the Mayor's base in vote-rich Wards 2 and 3.

Did a press release announcing this press event really come to you, or are you just funning us?

If so, 2 funny.

Posted by: Trulee | August 28, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Amazing or is it just ironic? I would suggust that Big G stop and have a conversation w/ the many DC empoyees who were fired by Fenty et al because they spoke up againist the administration. Folks like Grace Wiggins.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 29, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow!

Posted by: drfields | August 29, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

You can count on "THE GIFT" Moten to keep on giving.

After 9/14 he will crawl back under this rock. To BIG G, so Fenty kept you out of jail, if you had been obeying the law, there would have been no reason for him to write a letter on your behalf.

You have done well for yourself but you do not seem to realize that many hundreds of DC residents have suffered at the hands of your boy. Not everyone can point to how Fenty help them. You and Ron have benefited from this snake but you are in the minority.

Shame on you for allowing yourself to be pimped by Ron Moten and Axxhole Fenty.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 29, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Big G (or whatever his name is), needs to blame Fenty and Moten for putting his job in jeopardy by making free political statements on his employer’s dime. That type of conduct is very unprofessional and no employer would stand for that. If he has any sense he would have known it. I’m sure that the Fenty campaign will funnel some of the walking around money to him ... as long as that lasts.

The fact is that it is the Mayor and not the Council Chairman who has used strong armed tactics and governed through fear and intimidation by indiscriminately firing employees and arbitrarily requiring subordinates to order the removal of a fence that was on private property and unobjectionable to the neighbors.

Posted by: brelevant | August 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

This story was very interesting. The promotion of Mayor Fenty by "Go-Go" Artists and Ronald Moten have been very disturbing for me as a WKYS listener. While I understand that anyone can pay to advertise on free radio, using Anwan or "Big G" may give the impression that his employer supports Mayor Fenty. That may have caused him to lose his position at WKYS. Besides, none of these artists, including Anwan, live in the District of Columbia. Maybe the city and IRS should investigate Ronald Moten and his 501(c)3 corporation Peace-aholics to be certain that our tax payer dollars haven't been spent on political campaigning. I sincerely hope that the youth in which these ads target are bright enough to see behind the smoke.

Posted by: Alex69 | August 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Big G you were walking around like a bill board,with all that Fenty gear on. you were told by everybody that the few hundred dollars that Moe put in your pocket every 3 or 4 week was gonna come back and bite ur ass,now look what happen. and guess what this election will be over in 2 weeks,and the 2 men ass u been kissing is gonna drop u like a hot potato. how can this guy support Fenty,his addm.shut down every GO-GO in the city.he didnt do 1 thing 2 make it safe 4 our young people who enjoy GO-GO.it was never any police presence around these events. that why we always hear about going on around a GO-GO insted of inside of these places,it do happen inside but very rare,mostly its on the outside where the police should be. back 2 BIG G,now you can see how long that snake Moe is gonna let you and your family eat off of him. again i can say u were told.Bro i wish u the best. have a nice day...

Posted by: alleyes | August 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really believe this crap?

Posted by: TheHermit1 | August 29, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

He said he received an ultimatum from "management" and he "refused". So it's someone else's fault that he chose to ignore his boss? Blame yourself for using Ron Moten logic and not common sense. You will lose many jobs if you can't follow the boss' order.

Posted by: candycane1 | August 29, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Big G did not have a full and complete understanding of "equal time" requirements in political campaigns.

(Listen up TWP -- when you give a candidate airtime, ink, etc., you are required to giving equal time to opposing candidates.) If Big G was openly supporting Fenty, WKYS would be obligated to give equal time to Fenty's opponents. So, if WKYS did, in fact, issue an ultimatum to him, they were probably correct to do so. Any allegation that he was fired at the request of candidate Gray is ludicrous.

Yes, TWP, by printing this drivel, you have stooped to depths not traversed before. Taking lessons from the NY Post I guess.

Posted by: sheridaw | August 29, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

This man seems like he bumped his head.

How do you know understand you cannot espouse political views and commentary outside the bounds of your contract.

Anything outside the bounds of your country is grounds for your dismissal.

Posted by: CultureClub | August 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone pick up on the fact that everyone speaking up for Shifty is a recovering or reformed criminal. You are judged by the company you keep. All you go-go lovers (self included) don't drink the Shifty-aid, if memory serves me correctly, Shifty is the one who advocated shutting down the go-gos. How soon we forget.

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | August 30, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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