KDWB thought it would be pretty funny to slag on Hmong families with a race-tinged parody of Eric Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven," but a major advertiser isn't laughing.
HealthPartners is taking its business someplace else -- perhaps a station that treats its listeners with a little more dignity.[jump]
"We have expectations that our business partners will treat people with respect," said the health insurer's spokesman, Jeff Shelman, in a statement to the Strib.
The station, and the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show, where the parody first aired, sounded stunned at the backlash after they aired the stunt and proclaimed themselves "very proud that members of the Hmong community are some of our most loyal listeners and fans."
Which is why they characterized those Hmong listeners this way:
No room for a couch
'Cause we sleep on the floor
One big group of Vangs
Hmong family of twenty-four
Kids work in St. Paul
Hang out at the mall
'Cause I know they dwell so well
Thirty Hmongs in a house
Hmongs get pregnant early
First baby at 16
Seven kids by 23
Over the hill by 30
Like sardines they live
Packed in a two-room house with the kids
But you know they age quite well
They be Hmongs.
Come on, everyone, the station said, no harm meant. It was a joke. Get it?
Our listeners understand that The Dave Ryan in the Morning show is a comedy show meant to entertain, and that much of its content is parody. 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.
Ha ha.Related: KDWB's Dave Ryan in the Morning Show issues statement about Hmong 'parody' song