From the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA
) comes this story about two Howard Stern protégés’ racially insensitive on-air jokes:
MANAA went up against the nationally syndicated Nick and Artie Show (Premiere Radio Networks) for asking listeners to call in with their “most racist Asian jokes.”
In discussing New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, show hosts Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange encouraged their callers to phone in the jokes by giving examples, one of which was about Lin’s doing teammate Carmelo Anthony’s laundry.
The disc jockeys issued an on-air apology two days later, but invoked the Ku Klux Klan while doing so (see below). According to MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki, DiPaolo admitted they’d asked for stereotypical jokes. Lange had dug an even worse hole by saying: ‘Right, we want bad, awful jokes that you hear like from someone at a Klan meeting at 4 in the morning after a couple of scotches and you can make fun of him ‘cos it’s stupid. Uh, that’s what we wanted. And we wanted to make fun of that whole situation. And if we offended anybody in that process, we’re sorry about that ‘cos that’s not what we’re about here.’”
Aoki spoke to several DirectTv executives, including Derek Chang, DirecTV’s Executive Vice President of Content Strategy and Development–who oversees all programming for the company. Chang informed Aoki he’d spoken to the two hosts that day, told them their apologies weren’t sincere, and placed them on indefinite probation, adding that if something like this happened again, he’d “pull the plug” on the three hour evening show. Chang was also considering issuing guidelines to producers of DirecTV’s original programming to prevent such future lapses in judgment.
MANAA is calling on all media companies to have discussions with their employees to prevent future racially insensitive incidents.