One month after the firing of radio host Don Imus for broadcasting sexist and racist gibes, a pair of suspended New York shock jocks have been permanently pulled from the air by CBS Radio for a prank phone call rife with offensive Asian stereotypes.
"The Dog House with JV and Elvis," hosted by Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay, "will no longer be broadcast," CBS Radio spokeswoman Karen Mateo said Saturday. CBS Radio dismissed broadcasting hall of famer Imus in April for his defamation of the Rutgers women's basketball team.
The cancellation of the show, nearly three weeks after the show hosts were suspended, was another indication of the increased scrutiny on radio hosts and the heightened management sensitivity to complaints in the wake of the Imus firing.
"This is a victory not only for the Asian-American community, but for all communities who find themselves constant targets of racist and sexist programming," said Jeanette Wang, an executive with the Organization of Chinese Americans.
Mateo declined any further comment on the "JV and Elvis" show, which had aired on WFNY-FM immediately after the shock jock pairing of Opie and Anthony.
Opie and Anthony also under fireGregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia return to the station's airwaves Monday after issuing their own apology for a segment on their satellite radio program where they laughed as a homeless man fantasized about raping Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush.
Vandergrift and Lay made their comments one day after Imus' April 4 meltdown on his nationally syndicated program. The pair broadcast a call to a Chinese restaurant; the caller, in an exaggerated accent, placed an order for "shrimp flied lice," claimed he was a student of kung fu, and compared menu items to employees' body parts.
The initial airing of the call went unnoticed, but a re-airing of the segment after Imus's firing prompted an outcry from Asian-American groups. Vandergrift and Lay were initially suspended without pay, but Asian-Americans quickly demanded the same penalty applied to the much higher-profile Imus.
Mateo would not comment on the status of the DJs' contracts or whether they were still on the CBS payroll. Imus plans a $120 million (euro88.98 million) breach of contract suit against CBS Radio.
Sharpton back in the spotlightAs word spread about the fate of JV and Elvis, more than 100 people turned out for a Union Square rally to offer support for those two, Imus and other radio personalities under fire.
"It's not about whether you like what you heard or not," said Debbie Wolf, president of People Against Censorship. "I find censorship to be far more offensive than anything that was said."
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who played a major role in Imus' ouster, said Saturday that he wanted to meet with Hughes and Cumia's bosses at XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. over the rape comments on their show.
"My personal feeling is they should have already been fired," said Sharpton, who one night earlier had debated Imus producer Bernard McGuirk on the Fox News Channel. McGuirk was also fired from WFAN-AM.
McGuirk called Sharpton a "race-baiter" looking for attention when he led the campaign to fire Imus. Sharpton replied that Imus and McGuirk got what they deserved for making racist, sexist comments on the air.