Dave Ryan apologizes for KDWB Hmong parody song AGAIN
KDWB apologies: now with extra sincerity.
KDWB's Dave Ryan has issued yet another apology for the so-called "Hmong parody song" that has incensed listeners and driven away important advertisers.
"Some may feel that our previous apologies about this have been inadequate or insincere," said Ryan in what was his third apology. "To address those concerns we are apologizing again today."
The song, which aired on the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show in late March, served up a "parody" song, warbled by show host Steve "Steve-O" LaTart. The song included some truly inspired lyrics set to "Tears in Heaven": "No room for a couch/'Cause we sleep on the floor/One big group of Vangs/Hmong family of twenty-four."
Once the song was posted on the internet, the Asian American Journalists Association demanded KDWB apologize and TakeAction Minnesota's Hmong Organizing Program called for Steve-O's job. Thus began the non-apology apologies, including one from program director Rob Morris, who used this classic "no-racist" line:
"While we've received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent."
Well, if there's one thing that will get the ear of a radio station exec, it's the sound of advertisers walking away. AT&T, Health Partners, and Blue Cross have all canceled their ads with the station. A spokesperson for Blue Cross alluded that KDWB might want to act a little sorrier if they want their ad dollars back.
This morning, the show offered something significantly more hangdog from Ryan, Steve-O, and president and market manager for Clear Channel/KDWB Mike Crusham.
"We are very sorry for any pain and offense this song has caused," said Steve-O. "It truly was not our intention to cause hurt feelings."
"We are truly sorry," Ryan enunciated slowly.
He also made it sound like the show cast is going to meet with members of the Hmong community to talk out the issue.
"We want to have a civil dialogue," he said. "We're reaching out and engaging directly with members of the Hmong community."
You can listen to the whole apology here.
The members they are engaging with are apparently not from TakeAction. Communications director Greta Bergstrom says she hasn't heard anything since the station would not meet with a delegation of protesters who arrived at the KDWB offices on Friday.
"They have not reached out to us, they have not called about setting up a meeting, nothing," she says.
And at this point, she says, Ryan can on-air apologize until he's blue in the face. She says TakeAction isn't going to drop the matter until a face-to-face meeting happens.
"We're looking for policy change," she says.
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