Friday, September 9, 2016

WWE Flashback: Wendy Swoops Down on Hot 97's 'Tsunami Song' Protest

On December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck beneath the Indian Ocean, generating a massive tsunami that killed more than 230,000 and injured more than 500,000 in 14 different countries, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. It's one deadliest natural disasters ever recorded. The global response to the tsunami was unprecedented, with billions raised shortly after the disaster. Back in the United States, however, the morning show team at Shot Hot 97 started spinning a new parody song on January 18, 2005 about the tsunami victims to the tune of “We Are the World.” The song, full of racial slurs and blatant mockeries of the victims was penned by the morning show producer Rick DelGado, and recorded by comedian and morning DJ, Todd Lynn and his co-host, Miss Jones. Some lyrics of the offensive "Tsunami Song" are: “… There were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away you could hear God laughing, ‘Swim you bitches, swim’ So now you’re screwed, it’s the tsunami you better run or kiss your 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 to child slavery …”. Miss Jones (real name: Tarsha Nicole Jones) continued to play the song every day for a week, despite the protest of an Asian co-host, Miss Info (real name: Minya Oh), who said that she wasn’t comfortable with the song and wanted them to stop playing it. Miss Jones accused Miss Info of feeling “superior, probably because [she’s] Asian” and Lynn interrupted saying he thought he was going to start shooting Asians. Biiiitttttttttttttcccchhhh. Most of the station's major sponsors -- including Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Sprint -- pulled their ads. Miss Jones issued an on-air apology. “I apologize to all who have been offended by my poor decision to go along with playing that insulting (to say the least) tsunami song," she said. "I should have known better, and I didn’t. So I’m sorry and hopefully we can move forward from this, or I can move forward from this being a better hostess, because I am better than that and I know better than that — and you deserve better radio than that.” Immediately after, Rick and Todd were fired. The rest of the morning show staff, including Miss Jones, was suspended for two weeks, with their pay going to support tsunami relief. Miss Info was not punished and brought a lawsuit against her co-workers alleging that her persecution on the job went beyond the "Tsunami Song" and that the Morning Show was a hostile work environment. (She returned to the station a few years later.)

That's the back story.

As soon as the racially offensive song began to play, protestors rallied outside the station’s New York City offices calling for Miss Jones to be fired. Wendy sent then intern Nicole Spence -- who sued Wendy's husband for sexual harassment and intimidation -- to the scene to interview the protestors.

sources: PBS | The Villager
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