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.