MANAA Praises DirecTV for Reprimanding Former Howard Stern Disc Jockey For Soliciting Racist Jokes Inspired By Jeremy Lin

LOS ANGELES-Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA)–the only organization solely dedicated to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive, and positive depiction and coverage of Asian Americans–is praising DirecTV for disciplining two on-air talent who, after discussing New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, asked their listeners to call in with “the most racist Asian jokes you know.” Although the disc jockeys apologized two days later, they invoked the Ku Klux Klan and did not adequately explain what they had done. After MANAA asserted the apology was not enough, DirecTV placed them on probation.

On the February 15th “Nick and Artie Show” (produced by DirecTV Sports Group and syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks since October 3), Nick DiPaolo and former Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange asked their listeners to call in with their “most racist Asian jokes.” As an example, they offered Lin having to do teammate Carmelo Anthony’s laundry (the hour in which it occurred has since been taken off DirecTV’s website). They also criticized Woody Allen’s wife Soon-Yi for not showing enough enthusiasm at Knicks games, saying if she didn’t appreciate the United States, she should go back to the Philippines (she’s from Korea). Tuesday, MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki spoke with Chris Long, DirecTV’s Senior Vice President of Entertainment and Production, and Darris Gringeri, VP of public relations. They informed Aoki that although the solicitation did get callers, none of them were put on the air as someone realized it was a bad idea. Long told Aoki he’d learned of the broadcast the following night, spoke to the disc jockeys and their supervisor, and asked them to apologize.

After hearing the apology, MANAA’s board wasn’t satisfied. “Artie Lange wouldn’t even come clean on what they’d done,” said Aoki. “He referenced the New York Post headline ‘Amasian’ and took that as a sign it was fair game to ask his listeners to call in with other Asian puns. DiPaolo corrected him, admitting they’d actually asked for stereotypical jokes. Lange 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 asked rhetorically, “How can you say you wanted your listeners to hear what drunk Ku Klux Klan members would say and not think it would offend people?” Added MANAA board member Miriam Nakamura-Quan, “I was appalled and surprised that their lackluster apology included a reference to the KKK. They contradicted themselves in the worst kind of way. You can’t get any more extreme or offensive than by invoking the spirit of the KKK. That doesn’t seem like a sincere and honest apology to me.”

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MANAA Praises ESPN for Firing Over “Chink” Headline; Pushes For Better Oversight

LOS ANGELES-Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA)–the only organization solely dedicated to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive, and positive depiction and coverage of Asian Americans–is praising ESPN for its handling of employees who used “chink in the armor” when reporting on New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. Following the Knicks’ first loss in eight games Friday night, an ESPN mobile headline read: “Chink in the Armor” accompanied by a picture of Lin. Wednesday night, ESPN anchor Max Bretos also used the phrase in asking why Lin failed to perform as well as he’d done in the past.

Saturday, MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki spoke with Rob King, ESPN’s Senior Vice President of editorial, print, and digital media, who was upset that the unfortunate incidents had hurt the reputation of the network. King explained that ESPN executives knew there were two upcoming games involving Lin and wanted to prevent any off-color remarks in reporting, so on Wednesday at the company’s monthly editorial board meeting, they reminded their department heads to be careful. An e-mail to their employees went out that night and early Thursday morning. It wasn’t clear if Bretos (who later tweeted that his wife is Asian and that he meant no disrespect toward Asians) had seen the memo, but the editor who wrote the Saturday morning article and headline should have.

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What Happened after the Paramount Protest?

For those who want to know what’s been going on with Paramount and “The Goods” — Paramount sent a written apology to the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) right before the protest happened. Though the protest went on as planned, Paramount deserves some credit for actually responding with an apology, and a pretty well-written one at that (see below).

What’s really cool is Paramount and JACL agreed to have a meeting in the future. MANAA believes that not only will this be a chance to talk to Paramount about The Goods, but also The Last Airbender!

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 14:42:24 -0700
To: <dc@jacl.org>
Subject: The Goods

Dear Mr. Mori:

Thank you for your recent letter regarding ‘The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.’ At Paramount, we take these concerns very seriously.

On behalf of the studio, I want to extend our sincerest apologies to the Japanese American Citizens League and the greater Asian-American community for the racially demeaning language used in scenes depicted in the film. While this film is intended to be an extreme satirical comedy, it was never the objective of the producers or the studio to single out any one group for ridicule or to promote hurtful, racially disparaging language. We genuinely regret the use of this language in the film.

We’ve discussed your concerns, at length, with the producers and we have discontinued online promotion of the red-band, age-gated trailer that depicts this scene. The general audience, green-band trailer has also been pulled out of theaters.

We appreciate you bringing to our attention the concerns of the Japanese-American community and the broader Asian-American community. We truly regret any anguish that this film may have caused. We assure you that this was never the intention of the producers or the studio.

At Paramount, we would welcome a continuing dialogue over the next several weeks with you and other leaders of the Asian-American community. Again, on behalf of Paramount and Paramount Vantage, we hope you accept our sincerest apologies.

Yours truly,
Adam Goodman

Norm Macdonald Apologizes for Saying Racial Slur on “The Adam Carolla Show”

Apology follows Carolla and co-host Teresa Strasser’s

LOS ANGELES–Three weeks after former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Norm MacDonald used the offensive racial slur “gooks” on an appearance on the syndicated radio program, “The Adam Carolla Show,” he apologized to Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), the only organization solely dedicated to monitoring the media and its depiction of Asian Americans.

On Wednesday, March 5th, MacDonald, Carolla, and co-host Teresa Strasser, were analyzing the lyrics of the 1969 Kenny Rogers and the First Edition hit “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” (They were laughing because it’s about a paralyzed war veteran who wants to shoot his cheating girlfriend). MacDonald said, “he’s killed strange gooks.” All three of them laughed. On his March 10th show, Carolla addressed the issue: “Norm MacDonald was in studio last week… He used a derogatory term toward some Asians groups.” Strasser joined in: “It was often used by American servicemen during the Vietnam War.” Carolla continued: “That’s right. And we did not dump it, nor did we say anything to Norm. And for that, we apologize.” After McDonald’s representative, Marc Gurvitz of Grillstein-Grey, responded to MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki on March 12th, Aoki wrote in an e-mail, “We’d like to hear Mr. MacDonald explain what he was thinking when he said ‘gooks,’ which has been an offensive slur against Asian people since the 1890s and was used a lot during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And we would like an apology from him sent to this address.  The fact that ‘Ruby’ was about a Vietnam vet in no way excuses saying ‘gooks.’ (Would he rationalize that it’s OK to call blacks ‘negroes’ or ‘niggers’ because that’s what many people called blacks during that period?).”

Exactly one week later, Gurvitz forwarded MacDonald’s response: “I understand your concern and am anxious to reply. In your letter, you say you would like an apology. I apologize. Since I’m not racist, I can’t apologize for being a racist. However, the remark was reckless and had no greater meaning to redeem it. So I am sincerely sorry for saying a thoughtless thing that could hurt innocent people. I understand the power of words, and I wish I hadn’t said the one you refer to. “Also, you asked if I could explain what went on in my head when I said it. When I said it, I assumed people listening would infer that it was the paralyzed serviceman using the term. In another way of saying it, the word had quotation marks around it in precisely the same way that you yourself used the word. But I understand that quotation marks cannot be heard audially [sic] and that reasonable people could easily perceive racism where it doesn’t exist. I understand the perception of impropriety can be as painful as impropriety itself, and since as I earlier said, there was no particular point I was making, I’m left only with regret. And so, I apologize to you personally for any pain you may have felt hearing that word and to any person of any race who took offense. I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I will be more vigilant in the future to avoid this. I hope you keep up your good work and accept my humblest apology.”

Phil Lee, MANAA’s President, said, “This is a hurtful word. It can inflame a lot of emotions. We appreciate that both the station and Mr. MacDonald seem to get that and hope their responses will serve as a reminder to others that these concerns need to be taken seriously.”

Please note our new address PRESS CONTACT P.O. Box 6188 Burbank, CA 91510-1105 (213) 486-4433 manaaletters@hotmail.com www.manaa.org

MANAA Blasts Comedian Norm Macdonald For Racial Slur on “The Adam Carolla Show”

Carolla and co-host Teresa Strasser apologize for letting it air.

LOS ANGELES – Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), the only organization solely dedicated to monitoring the media and its depiction of Asian Americans, is upset that former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Norm MacDonald used the offensive racial slur “gooks” on his recent appearance on the syndicated radio program, “The Adam Carolla Show.”

On Wednesday, March 5th, in the 9 a.m. hour, MacDonald, Carolla, and co-host Teresa Strasser, were analyzing the lyrics of the 1969 Kenny Rogers and the First Edition hit “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.” (Apparently, they were laughing because it’s about a paralyzed Vietnam vet who wants to shoot his cheating girlfriend). MacDonald said, “he’s killed strange gooks.” All three laughed. MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki called Jack Silver, VP of Programming for 97.1 Free FM (where the show is recorded), who agreed the term should have been bleeped out and not aired.

Carolla and Strasser addressed the incident on today’s show in the 9:00 hour. Said Carolla: “Norm MacDonald… used a derogatory term toward some Asians groups.” Strasser added: “It was often used by American servicemen during the Vietnam War.” Carolla continued: “That’s right. And we did not dump it, nor did we say anything to Norm. And for that, we apologize.” Phil Lee, MANAA’s President, said, “It’s important to recognize that the term has an offensive, ugly charge to it that traces back historically to the 1890s and became used especially during the Korean and Vietnam War.

MANAA is pleased to see that the station is learning from previous missteps and making an effort to be responsive.” (In 2006, Carolla lost seven advertisers after he aired a skit mocking “The Asian Excellence Awards,” which consisted of people saying nothing but variations of “ching chong” and “chong chong” for 52 seconds. The host apologized on air a month after the recording was first broadcast, and his syndicator, CBS Radio, agreed to racial sensitivity training for all employees and produced a manual for all on-air talent reminding them of their responsibility as broadcasters.) On Friday, Aoki left two messages for response from Norm MacDonald’s representative, Mark Gurvitz of Brillstein-Grey, who has failed to contact the organization.

Please note our new address PRESS CONTACT P.O. Box 6188 Burbank, CA 91510-1105 (213) 486-4433 manaaletters@hotmail.com www.manaa.org

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-6th, about Japanese Internment during World War II

Rep Coble, on a radio show talk show on February 4th, condoned the internment of Japanese Americans. His so called apology followed, but he doesn’t say he was wrong.


 

The following comes from Ken Narasaki and I’ve been following it in the Rafu Shimpo. Remember when Trent Lott made those veiled comments supporting segregation?  He went all over the place making apologies and said he would not resign his seat as Senate Majority Leader.

OK, here’s a great example of the black test:  Rep Coble, on a radio show talk show on February 4th, condoned the internment of Japanese Americans.  His so called apology followed, but he doesn’t say he was wrong.

I’m super steamed now because in the Rafu I just got tonight, Sam Chu Lin (our reporter friend) interviewed Rep. Mike Honda who called Cole and tried talking sense into him.  Cole informed him that he was the one in charge of opposing the redress bill in ’87!  Honda, Reps Robert Matsui and David Wu wrote a letter on Friday asking for a meeting with Cole. Matsui also called Cole.
Cole just responded saying he didn’t have time!
The audacity of this sonuvabitch!  Karen Narasaki and John Tateishi, our friend at the JACL, have called for his resignation as head of the committee that decides treatment of Arab Americans vis a vis terrorism.

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