Jersey Guys apologize (updated)

Lester Gesteland quotes an Asian Media Watchdog email saying the Jersey Guys will apologize on air:

… 101.5FM agreed in writing to the following.
  • Issue an on air, formal & blanket apology by the “Jersey Guys,”
  • Invite Jun Choi (the KoreanAm candidate who was attacked) to be a guest by “Jersey Guys…”

… Comcast and Verizon agreed to suspend their radio ads…. “Kick The Jersey Guys Off The Air!” collected the largest amount of signatures in the shortest amount of time, even more so than our last major campaign, Hot 97

Gesteland, who’s got three hapa kids, says:

This evening my wife was listening to the infamous Carton & Rossi show when she heard Jun Choi being interviewed…

Choi is running for mayor of the desi haven of Edison, NJ. Now that’s consumer power. Well done.

Update: Carton apologized, and Choi raked him on air, telling him why his comments were offensive. Listen here: part 1, part 2

16 thoughts on “Jersey Guys apologize (updated)

  1. This has been up for a while and so far no comments…. I’m surprised. I for one am happy about this. If the Jersey Guys really have a problem with Choi’s policies, they’ll now be forced to present their argument in an intelligent fashion rather than than spew out meaningless slurs.

    Although in reality The Jersey Guys are probably just trying to save their asses, I hope that they (along with their listeners) get something out of the session with Choi.

  2. Frankly, would’ve been happier to just have them off air and be done with it. Does the apology really mean anything to anyone? Ok, so you apologise on radio and get to keep your job, and keep cussing asians in your head, as do your friends, and all the listeners who may have supported the jersey guys – I’m sure there are quite a few. The simple fact is that change has come faster than people wanted to, and the Jersey guys simply represent human beings all over the world who can’t deal with change, and point their finger at the most visible possible cause – this is NO justification for their actions, my point is that there’s no reasonable way to resolve this. Sure, we’ve got the message across that it’s not OK to voice those kinds of views in public, but I think they already knew that – I think they knew that this would get people riled up – they are in the entertainment business after all, this is their bread & butter. They just didn’t expect to have to apologise, and to the listeners who were rooting for them, the apology is just an example of the more “liberal nonsense political correctness”. So end result? Just more polarisation and possible backlash….

  3. TTG, you’re absolutely right: just an apology would be meaningless. If the Jersey Guys got away with just an apology, all it would have done is shown that insulting Asians can get you into trouble, which is completely pointless. But then what good would kicking the Jersey Guys off the air do? This too would be considered “liberal nonsense political correctness”. Though they would be silenced (as they are now to some extent), the Jersey Guys would still continue to cuss Asians in their head, and so would all the people who rooted for them during that broadcast.

    The fact is, however, that they’re not just getting away with a meaningless apology. They’re going to have to fess up for their actions and talk to Choi on air. This way, the Jersey Guys can’t sit around talking bullshit while impressionable listeners call in and kiss their asses (which is really what their rant came down to). More importantly, the Asian-American perspective can be heard by the people who need to hear it: the Jersey Guys’ fanbase.

  4. Banglawarrior, excellent points! I think the key here is having Choi on, in addition to the apology. It’s the dialogue…..

    The other day I was on a website/blog written by an economics professor in Ireland, a non-desi, who writes mostly about political issues and whose politics are more in line with mine than most on this board ( don’t click over, Manish 🙂 Actually, do, he writes with a very unique perspective – he’s an expatriate American, I believe, and I enjoy his comments even when I don’t agree ) And he had a post about this, about how stupid and racist the comments were. This incident has reverberated outside the desi community, outside of New Jersey and local politics. I can’t help thinking that is a positive sign. When you can engage with this kind of nameless, classless, brainless stuff, and call them to account, you are moving forward. Maybe not fast enough for some people’s tastes, but at least it is in the right direction.


  5. Oh, and I included the link above as just one example of the many diverse places I’ve heard about this story, lots of sites that don’t usually deal with politics, or desi issues, etc. I think it really struck a cord. It was just crass, base, and mean behavior. Hard to believe there are people that can utterly dehumanize another in that way.

  6. … whose politics are more in line with mine than most on this board ( don’t click over, Manish 🙂 )

    Yeah, yeah. How do I feel about a hawkish, fiscally conservative president? To paraphrase Gandhi, I think it would be a good idea.

  7. I hear you Manish. Please, please, please, Mr. President. Veto something (besides the stem cell thing….)

  8. I think they knew that this would get people riled up – they are in the entertainment business after all, this is their bread & butter.

    I think the apology is complete bakwaas. I would venture to speculate most of us hadn’t heard of the Jersey Guys previous to this incident, yet now, most of us would be hard pressed to forget their identity and call-letters. Sadly, in a year, nobody will remember the name of the mayoral candidate.

    As they say, any press is good press… I find the apology superficial and insulting, but I can’t say how I’d like it otherwise resolved…

  9. Dude, is this even an apology? i.e. “this is what we always do, no matter what we’re talking about…it was ‘tongue-in-cheek…. the majority of what we do is satire, we never intend to hurt one specific person, or any specific group'” blah blah blah.

    To me, it smacks of the (male) apology – “I’m sorry you’re upset”, i.e. I take no responsibility for any of my actions that may have upset you. (Although I call it the male apology, I have used it when that’s the idea I was trying to get across.)


  10. This is not an apology. It’s complete bull shit. The only reason these racists get to stay on the air is because they are racists whites.

    It’s a vicious cycle — whites see lots of non-whites in their community, the whites become insecure and racist, they get to hear their insecurities validated on the air by equally insecure and racist radio hosts, the radio station makes money off of the symbiotic relationship between insecure racist white listeners and insecure racist hosts.

    Racists who promote anger and hate should just be off the air. They do a diservice to our community and lend credence to the idea that anyone whose skin color isn’t theirs, isn’t American and should not have a say in how our communties run. These racists only made their quarter-ass apology after their radio station realized their racism may affect their bottomline. Our communities need to call for more sponsor boycotts of racist broadcasters.

    This apology is not an apology. They should be fired.

  11. To me, it smacks of the (male) apology – “I’m sorry you’re upset”, i.e. I take no responsibility for any of my actions that may have upset you. (Although I call it the male apology, I have used it when that’s the idea I was trying to get across.)

    Ah, what my friends and I like to call the “I’m sorry you misunderstood” apology-that’s-really-an-insult.

  12. Sound like there is more racism on this board than on the jersey guys? Just like everthing in life, get the whole story before you spew your hate speech.

  13. You people are ridiculous. Freedom of speech. I guess its safe to say that you all are people who wanted Stern off the air as well. Don’t listen to them if you do not like what they say. It is fairly simple. Or you can continue to bitch about it. People like you are kicking freedom of speech right out of the country.

  14. which people are you refering to? who is “you people”? Are you going to take a look at the very few people who’ve commented, or are you assuming that “you people” is everyone who reads this blog? I think you’re lumping people together and claiming that “we” are all the same.

    its all well and good to tell other people about not being racist, but when you sit here and talk about “you people” and a commentor talks about “minorities” as if its one mass of people, you’re lumping people together.

    Its very understandable to be upset because people are treating you as something you’re not because of the color of your skin. And so, what are you doing, you’re complaining.

    I’m sure if you tried to understand, you could. When a show that’s on the public airwaves demeans a group of people, those people will be uncomfortable. If you ever had the idea to go to India, or China for that matter, you would not feel all that comfortable if people on the radio made fun or you because you were originally from the U.S. There’s a big difference between prefering not to be demeaned and “complaining” for no reason.

    We’re all human beings right. So why not give other people the respect and understanding it takes to acknowledge that demeaning a group of people is not something anyone should be forced to be comfortable with.

    You’re not getting to the reality of the situation, which is, if it was just a matter of not listening to one radio station, that’s not a problem for most people.