In light of controversy
surrounding the Hot 97 Morning Show’s parody "Tsunami Song," radio
station executives have taken action, firing morning crew member Todd Lynn for
offensive racial comments made on-air, as well as producer Rick Delgado, who
created the song.
Following an internal investigation into the incident, Hot 97 and their owner,
Emmis Communications, said they decided that Lynn and Delgado’s "egregious
actions" justified termination.
Miss Jones, DJ Envy and
production assistant Tasha Hightower, who have been off the air since last Wednesday,
were suspended for two weeks, the station announced. Their salaries will be
donated to Give2Asia.
Miss Info, the other member
of the morning team, was not suspended but has also been off-air since last
week. Miss Info, a Korean American, expressed her disapproval prior to the airing
of the song, a parody of the 1985 hit "We Are the World."
She was met with disparaging
remarks from Miss Jones and Lynn, who said, "I’m gonna start shooting some
Asians," in response to Miss Info’s objections.
Lynn maintains that his
remarks were taken out of context and has also expressed his regrets for poor
"The actions of the
morning show crew were socially and morally indefensible and the entire Emmis
family is ashamed by this," Rick Cummings, President of Emmis Radio, said
in a statement. "Our decision to terminate Mr. Del Gado and Mr. Lynn while
suspending the other members of the morning crew sends a message that this type
of insensitivity is utterly unacceptable."
Some critics are still irate
at Hot 97, criticizing the station for not implementing harsher penalties. "Their
statement is a joke," New York City Councilman John Liu told the New York
Daily News. "They need to fire Miss Jones, but even more important, they
need to accept corporate responsibility."
Hot 97 announced that they
pledged a million dollars to Give2Asia tsunami relief. Liu said the station
should have donated more from corporate profits, adding that more protests are
Miss Info will co-host an
Asia Relief Fund Benefit on Saturday (Feb. 5) along with rapper Jin, who immediately
issued a freestyle response to Hot 97’s parody after the initial incident.