(WXYZ) — The owner of 910 AM Superstation, Kevin Adell, is facing criticism after telling radio hosts and guests not to make on-air mention of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
President Trump commuted Kilpatrick's prison sentence before leaving office in January.
Local faith-based leaders quickly came to Kilpatrick's defense calling the censorship decision unconstitutional.
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson released a statement in response to the gag order.
"It saddens and seriously concerns me that a non-African-American/Person of Color local business owner whose primary income is generated by the presence and patronage of black people could so callously and condescendingly make demands to silence the voices that are supposed to represent our community," Jackson said in the statement.
"The remarks of Kevin Adell, whose platforms of the Word Network, WADL-TV 38 Detroit and 910AM Detroit, claims to celebrate and support African Americans, resemble those of a plantation owner from an era where slavery was legal. It is not legal today! His self-assumed position of authority and self-righteousness reflects deeper concerns within our community that must be addressed; he should in no way have the comfort or confidence to say such foolishness."
On Thursday, after backlash from the community, Adell sent out a second memo to retract his ban on Kilpatrick.
Adell said in one email, "Companies like Twitter and Facebook are limiting access to people like former President Trump. Are they restricting freedom of press? We should all debate this issue on 910 AM. Maybe my restricting discussion of Kwame Kilpatrick was not correct. So, I retract my previous memo and affirm that we should all talk about it as a freedom of the press issue."
A release sent to 7 Action News from a spokesperson said Kilpatrick was welcomed and even encouraged to speak on the station.
A statement included in the press release from Adell said, “It’s important that the public hears all points of view. Radio is a two-way medium and I am encouraging all hosts, guests and listeners to share their thoughts during a time when free speech is under attack.”
7 Action News will continue to follow updates in this developing story.