Hot 97 morning show producer Rick Del Gado and personality Todd Lynn have been canned over the controversial tsunami song that aired last month. As reported previously, the song sparked street protests and led some Hot 97 advertisers to pull their spots.
A statement by Emmis Communications, the station’s owner, said Del Gado was axed “for his role in writing, producing and airing” the song (which referred to “chinks,” “Chinamen,” and God saying, “Swim, you bitches, swim!”). Lynn was pushed out “for making offensive, racially insensitive comments while on the air.” He was the guy heard during an on-air discussion of the song saying he was going to “shoot all Asians.”
The station also will donate $1 million to the tsunami relief effort.
“Other members of the morning show crew: Miss Jones, DJ Envy and Tasha Hightower have each been given two-week suspensions. The salaries of these individuals will be redirected to Give2Asia for the duration of their suspensions, which will end on Wednesday, February 9. Another member of the morning show crew, Miss Info, has not been suspended,” the statement read.
But City Councilman John Liu of Queens, who has led local protests of the song, says the firings and donation are “too little too late.” Liu suggests that Emmis should donate a week’s revenue, or $10 million.
“Emmis sought to profit from hate, and for that, they must pay,” said Liu, who is holding a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on the steps of City Hall. “They must pay dearly for the hurt they have inflicted in New York and across the world.”
Lynn gave his side of the story to trickology.com, which you can read here. He claims, “The ‘shoot all Asians’ comment was taken out of context. . . . A caller called in and I made a crack saying, ‘They act like I’ma shoot all Asians,’ but my mic got clipped and the only part you hear is ‘shoot all Asians.’ ”
For even more interesting reading, check out the anonymous letter from a Hot 97 “insider” than claims Del Gado was the mastermind, and Lynn a mere bystander.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 2, 2005