say no to racist radio

The latest on the JV & Elvis situation... if you're new to what's going on, the 92.3 FreeFM radio hosts aired a racist prank call to a Chinese restaurant earlier this month, which got them suspended by CBS Radio. Asian American community organizations are now calling for their dismissal. If you haven't heard if the offending clip yet, listen to it here or here. Makes you kind of sick, doesn't it? The guys over at Fallout Central have been following the controversy closely. Here's a press release from Senator John Edwards regarding the skit:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Senator John Edwards released the following statement condemning the recent radio segment of WFNY radio hosts Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay, which included derogatory comments directed at women and the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

"The recent radio skit of these two hosts was beyond disgusting. As individuals and as a nation, we have to condemn this kind of language - there is just no place for it in our public dialogue.

"This radio skit and Don Imus' recent comments show that our country is long overdue for a national dialogue about race, gender, class and what is acceptable in our public discourse. When we tolerate this kind of language, we are essentially sowing the seeds of intolerance. All of us have an obligation to speak out and condemn this kind of language when it's used, no matter who uses it. Together, we can change the dialogue in our nation and more importantly, we can work together to end inequality."

Paid for by John Edwards for President.
And here's a statement from Congressman Mike Honda:

Washington, DC - Congressman Michael Honda (CA-15), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), issued the following statement today regarding a recent segment of CBS Radio's "The Dog House with JV & Elvis," that involved a prank call to a Chinese restaurant:

"The prank call made by radio personalities JV and Elvis to a Chinese restaurant perpetuated dangerous sexualized racist stereotypes about Asian Americans and showed insensitivity to the immigrant experience. In the segment, the caller, with a computerized voice, asked the restaurant's female employee,
Should I come to your restaurant so that I can see you naked? ...That way, I can see your hot Asian spicy *ss.' He told another employee, 'I need shrimp flied lice' and 'some old dung.' The caller said to this male employee, 'Chinese man, tell me about your tiny egg roll... your tiny egg roll in your pants.' The radio hosts ended the call with: 'Tell the hot Asian girl that answered the telephone, I would like to tap her *ss.'

"The segment first aired on April 5 - only one day after Don Imus referred to the Scarlet Knights, the Rutgers University women's basketball team, as 'nappy-headed hos.' What is outrageous is that after CBS rightly fired Don Imus on April 12, the segment was aired again on April 19.

"Currently CBS Radio's sanction, suspension of the radio co-hosts, is a mere slap on the wrist. Mainstream networks should understand the wide influence they wield, and take responsibility to combat rather than perpetuate racial and sexual stereotypes. I call for an apology by CBS and CBS Radio and the immediate firing of JV and Elvis and the show's producer."

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And here's the press release from the Asian American Justice Center:
Asian American Justice Center Joins Advocacy Groups to Condemn Insensitive On-Air Remarks on CBS Radio, Call for Firings

Washington, D.C. - The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), a leading national civil and human rights organization, and its affiliates - Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian Law Caucus and the Asian American Institute - join advocacy groups nationwide in strongly condemning CBS Radio, demanding a more racially sensitive programming ethos, and calling for the firing of two hosts at WFNY, its New York affiliate, following an inexcusably crude and offensive tirade against Chinese restaurant workers on "The Dog House with JV and Elvis."

In the six-minute segment, which aired on April 5 - and re-aired on April 19 - shock jocks Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay made a call to a Chinese restaurant in which they ordered "shrimp flied lice," sexually propositioned a female waitress, and referred to another employee's body part as a "tiny egg roll."

"While we welcome the prompt apology from the station and suspension of the two employees, we believe this is far from enough, given the very gratuitous nature of this episode," said AAJC Deputy Director Vincent A. Eng. "We believe the station should terminate them and their producer, and improve and re-issue guidelines for offensive and discriminatory and objectionable terms."

Asian Pacific American Legal Center Executive Director Stewart Kwoh added, "In addition to developing guidelines on offensive and discriminatory terms, those involved with radio production must be regularly trained and reminded of such guidelines, and the guidelines should be shared with community groups so that the station is accountable to our community."

"CBS Radio needs to take steps to ensure that the industry, and its own employees in particular, uphold standards of professionalism that merit their use of the public airwaves," said Malcolm Yeung, a staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus. "In granting a license, the federal government requires that radio programming be responsive to community needs. Continuing to employ racist shock jocks violates this criteria."

"I find it appalling that this kind of outrageous behavior was allowed on the airwaves, and only merits a suspension," said Tuyet Le, executive director of the Asian American Institute in Chicago. "Radio executives should show greater responsibility by firing these employees."

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Seems like everyone is joining the fray. Do not let up on the pressure! Here's a list of key contacts behind the show that need to hear from you:

Thomas Chiusano, President and General Manager
WFNY 92.3 Free FM
40 W 57th St, Fl 14
New York, NY 10019-4001
(212) 314-9231

Leslie Moonves, President & CEO
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY

John Mainelli, Program Director, WFNY, 92.3 Free FM
40 W 57th St, Fl 14
New York, NY 10019-4001
(212) 314-9230

Karen Mateo, CBS Vice President of Communications
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 846-7638

CBS Radio would like very much for this to just go away... DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. The fact of the matter is, there are people out there who feel it's okay to make fun of Asians without consequence. This has gone on for too long. Will you let CBS Radio continue to do this?

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