Radio Consultant Keith Hill Responds to #SaladGate Criticism
Amid a firestorm of criticism regarding his comments on women on country radio, radio station consultant Keith Hill isn’t backing down. But he does understand and appreciate his critics' opinions.
During several interviews over the past week, Hill has attempted to further explain his point of view.
“I’m not going to make any apology for using the tomato analogy, as some have counseled me,” he told Country Aircheck on Monday. “What I want is to understand why they are so angry. And it’s because they think we [the country music industry] are sexist. And you know what, we are.”
Martina McBride (pictured here with her husband, John) is among the female stars who took offense to the tomato comment. The singer even designed two T-shirts — like the ones she and John are wearing — for charity. If you missed it, Hill said the format's top male artists are the lettuce in the salad, while the females are the tomatoes.
Last week he told The Tennessean that he’s a marketer, not a social engineer. "What has happened is that this social media thing is driven by emotion, not logic, and I understand that,” he says. “I am for equality of all things. I am not trying to solve racial issues, geopolitical issues or certainly not the issues between genders.”
"Right now, I am the victim of all this passion,” Hill tells the newspaper. “I realize it is probably driven by a mix of a lot of things. You start reading tweets: 'I want to hear more females.' When I see a tweet, I know it doesn't represent the mass country audience.”
Several of the format’s most well-known female artists have verbally attacked Hill. Miranda Lambert’s remarks were the sharpest. McBride expressed concern and confusion about where he was coming from. Newcomer Maggie Rose offered a more grounded assessment of his comments, saying country radio and country music are not the same thing.
While he concedes the industry is sexist, Hill adds that it’s not intentional. “It certainly looks like we make decisions based on the sex of the person who is singing, but we don’t. The results appear to be incredibly sexist, but it is bias based on consumer behavior, and it’s very strong.”
Where do you stand?
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