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Rediff.com  » News » Radio show hosts suspended for airing controversial tsunami song

Radio show hosts suspended for airing controversial tsunami song

Last updated on: January 27, 2005 21:16 IST

The hosts of a morning radio show that aired a controversial song making light of the tsunami and its Asian victims have been suspended indefinitely.

The management of Hot 97 FM in New York enforced the decision eight days after the song was broadcast by Tarsha Nicole Jones, a radio show host who goes by the name Miss Jones.

The station had come under severe criticism from Asian-American groups and lawmakers.

"While Miss Jones has apologised on the air, in the media and on the HOT 97 website, station management felt stronger action was necessary to demonstrate the severity of the situation," read a statement on Hot 97's website.

The song, broadcast twice on January 18 during 'Miss Jones in the Morning' programme, was a parody of We Are The World.

An Asian-American staff member, known as Miss Info, voiced her opposition to the song on the air, drawing a strong rebuke from Miss Jones.

"You probably feel you're superior because you're Asian, but you're not," said Miss Jones.

Emmis Communications, which owns the station, apologised for the incident and announced that all seven staff members of the morning show had agreed to contribute a week's pay to tsunami relief.

According to a station spokesperson, that penalty will stand in addition to the suspension.

In the company's statement, Emmis Radio president Rick Cummings said, "What happened is morally and socially indefensible. All involved, myself included, are ashamed and deeply sorry. I know the members of the morning show are truly contrite. They know their actions here are inexcusable."

On Thursday, Sprint announced it was suspending all advertising on the station. The company told rediff.com it had notified the station of its decision on January 26. McDonald's has also withdrawn its advertising.

According to Asian Media Watch, another version of the song featured the verse, 'I'm gonna start shooting Asians' in the background.

The song
There was a time, when the sun was shining bright
So I went down to the beach to catch me a tan.
Then the next thing I knew, a wave 20 feet high
Came and washed your whole country away.
And all at once, you can hear the screaming chinks.
And no one was saved from the wave.
There were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away.
You can hear God laughing 'Swim you bitches, swim.'

[Chorus]
So now you're screwed. It's the tsunami,
You better run and kiss you ass away, go find your mommy.
I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head
And now your children will be sold - child slavery.

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