The Asian American radio host who objected to the tsunami parody song says she will not return to hostile work environment.

By Pacific Citizen Staff


Just when HOT 97 (WQHT FM) thought it could move past its tsunami song debacle, the only employee to emerge unscathed from the controversy is now saying that the radio station is threatening to fire her.

Miss Info’s (Minya Oh) attorney Ken Thompson recently told the New York Daily News that Oh does not want to return to work until personnel issues are smoothed out.

Oh has been absent from the popular hip-hop morning show ever since the airing of the infamous tsunami parody song, titled “USA for Indonesia,” enraged Asian Pacific Americans and listeners with its insensitive and racially inflammatory lyrics.

It was only Oh who objected to the content of the song during a Jan. 18 broadcast. Soon, most of America joined in the protest chorus which cost HOT 97 parent company Emmis Communications over one million dollars in apologetic donations to tsunami relief, major loss of advertising revenue and two employees.

Oh recently told UPN 9 News that she vocally opposed the tsunami parody program not only because she is Asian American, but also because she is human.

“I’m the one person who kinda’ represented those ideals from the start but I feel like I’m being punished,” she said.

Throughout the controversy, Emmis maintained that Oh was not suspended or punished like the other members of the morning team. But her absence was palpable when the “Morning Show” went back on-air Feb. 11 with a humbled Miss Jones (Tarsha Nicole Jones), the show’s controversial ringleader.

Thompson stated in local reports that Oh no longer wants to work with Jones who berated his client on the show and accused her of feeling superior because she is Asian.

Jones apologized several times for offending listeners and called the song a mistake, but has not made a public apology to Oh.

“I’m really confused and kinda’ hurt,” Oh said, adding that she wants to talk to her audience and have the radio station take further steps towards diversity.

Emmis countered in an official release that they would like Oh back at her job delivering the entertainment news in the morning, but have not heard from her lawyer.

Despite the war of words, Oh’s stance against the song has made her the de facto figurehead to the campaign against HOT 97.

Groups like the Coalition Against Hate Media (CAHM) have organized protest rallies including a March 4 student rally in New York’s Union Square to demand more accountability from media groups that broadcast hateful or discriminatory messages.


This article originally appeared in Pacific Citizen (PC), the national newspaper published by the Japanese American Citizens League, and appears here by special permission.  Please do not reproduce with seeking permission from the copyright holder.

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