Local radio show host Matt Siegel draws attention after making comments about Demi Lovato

BOSTON — “Matty in the Morning” Kiss 108 morning radio show host of 40 years Matt Siegel came under fire Wednesday after management spoke to him about making comments regarding pop star Demi Lovato’s recent announcement that the singer now identifies as non-binary.

During the morning show, Siegel said to listeners that he did not want to be told what he could and could not talk about on the radio. He said he was told by his boss that he could not further discuss what he had been talking about during his morning show.

“And by the way, it’s a joke. The whole binary thing. I don’t care what Demi Lovato does. But now you have to worry about you might offend someone...” said Siegel.

Boston 25 reporter Litsa Pappas spoke with Siegel later Wednesday after what transpired on the radio. Siegel said the entire experience has him reassessing his career in broadcasting.

“There is no ill will to my boss, to the company, they’re doing their job. I understand that, I’ve been in the business all my life, I understand they’re protecting the product. There’s no ill will for me. I’m just at a point in my life where once I’m told I can’t say what I think, I have to reassess if I want to be a broadcaster,” said Siegel.

When asked if Siegel would be quitting the show, he responded: “I’m not planning on quitting right away, I have a lot of obligations to my team, I don’t want to leave my team hanging. So as of now, I’m going to stay.”

When asked if he had any comment on Demi Lovato, Siegel said, “Absolutely not.”

In a video online, Demi Lovato said, “I’ve had the revelation that I identify as non-binary. With that said, I’ll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them.”

Lovato’s announcement has sparked an even bigger conversation.

“When someone tells you what pronoun they are using you have to respect that,” said Sharifa Simon-Roberts, an Executive-in-Residence at Emerson College who studies pop culture and media.

She says when celebrities like Lovato challenge the gender norms, it’s a good way to challenge how people think about identity.

“They are teaching us so much about the identity and encouraging us to have multi layered conversations and I think that is invaluable in society,” said Simon-Roberts.

She hopes moments like this bring more awareness to how language is changing.

“We want to make sure that we are seeing people and recognizing who they are and if you do not know someone’s pronouns, it makes sense to ask because at the end of the day that’s a deeply personal topic and expression of who they are at their core,” said Simon-Roberts.