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1/28 New York City: Students, Community Leaders Protest Hot 97 Studios, Denounce 'Tsunami Song' Producers
Released 29 January 2005  By Kai Yu, Asian Media Watch

NEW YORK - Today at 10:00 a.m., students held a protest rally in front of Hot 97 WQHT-FM Studios in New York to denounce the production and repeated broadcasts of the racially inflammatory Hot 97 "Tsunami Song," and to hold the radio station and parent company responsible. The song was broadcast on the morning of December 18, sung by the hosts of the "Miss Jones in the Morning Show," and posted on to the Hot 97 website.

The Hot 97 radio hosts demeaned and dehumanized the millions of victims of the South Asian tsunami to the horror of offended listeners. To the tunes of "We Are the World," they sang lyrics containing racial epithets, profanity, and made denigrating references in the name of God.

"You can hear the screaming chinks ... little Chinamen swept away. You can hear 'God laughing swim you b****es swim.'"

While introducing the song, one host is heard saying "I'm going to start shooting Asians."

Students demanded accountability for Hot 97 and parent company Emmis Communications, that the company undergo sensitivity and diversity training, and called for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose severe sanctions on the company. The student led protesters wanted to represent the "African-American, Asian/Pacific American, Latino, White, hip-hop, student," and other communities. They rallied until 11:00 a.m. at which point they were joined by a larger group of protesters from a broad coalition of community leaders and organizations.

The 11:00 a.m. protest was organized by legislators and community leaders from:
Asian Media Watch
Cathy Dang-led student group (including New York University students)
City Council of New York
Japanese Americans Citizen League
Korean American League for Civil Action
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
New Immigrant Community Empowerment
Organization of Chinese Americans
... and others
to demand that the management and owners of Hot 97 and Emmis Communications take responsibility for the production and repeated broadcasts of Hot 97's 'Tsunami Song' and to call on the FCC to penalize Hot 97 and Emmis. Members of the City Council of New York have filed a complaint with the FCC. "The company rewards this kind of behavior from their employees so [the radio hosts] need to be fired. But that's not where it stops. Emmis Communications needs to pay and they need to pay dearly for the hurt that they have wreaked on our city, on the country, and across the world," said New York City Council Member John C. Liu at a news conference held at the protest site.

Earlier in the week, students met at the Silk Road Cafe in New York City's Chinatown to begin planning the protest. Led by Cathy Dang and Scott Chong, they were joined by the advisors and facilitators from Jay Smooth of, Asian Media Watch, the Japanese American Citizens League, and others. Student organizers had originally called for a protest at 8:00 a.m. Friday in front of Caroline's Comedy Club where the radio hosts were scheduled to appear. After Hot 97 suspended the hosts and after meeting with a coalition of community leaders, the venue was later changed to Hot 97 WQHT-FM Studios at 395 Hudson Street.

On Friday, December 21, Asian Media Watch reported the story of Hot 97's "Tsunami Song." The New York Post published an article on the efforts of Asian Media Watch on Saturday. Following a news conference held at City Hall, on Monday, December 22, organized and led by New York City Council Member John C. Liu, with the support of other city council members, a representative of New York State Assembly Member Jimmy Meng, Asian Media Watch, and the Organization of Chinese Americans - New York Chapter, news of these horrible broadcasts were picked up by regional and national news outlets.


Asian Media Watch is an independent non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting a diverse, fair, and balanced portrayal of Asian/Pacific Americans in the entertainment media. For more information, visit our websites at www.asianmediawatch.NET or .ORG

Asian Media Watch(tm)

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