KDWB's Dave Ryan in the Morning Show issues statement about Hmong 'parody' song

Categories: Radio
daveryan-250.jpg
Though the joke song was presented flippantly three weeks ago and then mostly forgotten about by the staff, KDWB's Dave Ryan in the Morning Show has come under fire this week after an audio recording of their "parody song" about Hmong culture was uploaded online and sparked backlash from the Twin Cities Hmong community.

The song, which featured charming lyrics like "No room for a couch/'Cause we sleep on the floor/One big group of Vangs/Hmong family of twenty-four" and "Hmongs get pregnant early/First baby at 16/Seven kids by 23/Over the hill by 30," was apparently written on the fly as part of a regular segment on the show, where listeners call in to give KDWB personality Steve-O potential comedy bit material.

As Bob Collins over at MPR's News Cut points out, host Dave Ryan seemed to recognize the potential offensive nature of the song immediately, insisting "I am not laughing at your song" in between bursts of giggles as Steve-O sang.

Once the audio of the segment was uploaded to YouTube, listeners stepped forward to express their dissatisfaction about the racist lyrics, taking to the show's Facebook page to express their frustration.

Yesterday, the station's program director, Rob Morris, posted a statement responding to the incident:

KDWB-FM and the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show are very proud that members of the Hmong community are some of our most loyal listeners and fans.

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.

We appreciate the support we continue to receive from all our listeners.
This apology seems like... sort of a non-apology. It implies that because the majority of their regular listeners did not appear to be offended by the song, it therefore wasn't offensive. Frankly, it reminds me an awful lot of Dilbert creator Scott Adams' recent non-apology about posting a sexist rant on his website, in which he proclaimed that he wasn't sexist -- women are just too emotional to comprehend what he is saying. His freakishly intelligent core male readership, Adams insisted, were the only ones who could truly comprehend why his disparaging statements against the opposite sex weren't actually offensive.

And maybe Adams had a point, if a misguided one: If he wants to be an asshole on his website, where a small readership congregates to celebrate his assholishness, who are we to stop him? But a program as widely broadcast as the Dave Ryan in the Morning show, and a station like KDWB, is meant for the mainstream. And in today's internet culture, something you say on a widely broadcasted radio program can be picked up instantly and posted online, where the potential eyeballs are in the millions. There's a responsibility there, to at least recognize the possible impact of the show's actions and acknowledge the existence of people in our community with differing viewpoints. Isn't there?

It sounds like the station isn't finished with the issue quite yet. The Asian American Journliasts Association has stepped forward to offer their take as well, issuing a statement yesterday afternoon, and said that they felt like KDWB understood why the matter should be taken seriously:

While the Minnesota chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association acknowledges the role of parody, we've heard from members of the community who found these remarks offensive and in poor taste. We know KDWB has a large Hmong listenership. We urge the station to take heed when promoting material that stereotypes and marginalizes a large segment of its fan base. It appears that the station recognizes the legitimacy of these concerns.
What do you think?



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
50 comments
Dmadrt
Dmadrt

Everybody stop being so thin skinned! It was a joke! Grow a pair! If you don't like it don't listen! Morris is right, most of that group of people thought it was funny, it is always the few pussy, liberal, whinny idiots that ruin fun for everyone! I have found if you are offened about something it is probably true and you actually do whatever it is you are offened about. There is always some jackass that gets offeneded, who cares! You can't please everybody. It is comedy, take it as comedy!

Happyfeet
Happyfeet

Weak minded idiots should stop crying about being offended, and grow a pair! The last time I checked (and I doubt the whiners have) the Constitution provides for Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of being Offended! If that were the case, there would not be a Black Entertainment Television, or strictly cultural channels that coerce me into thinking that unless I buy in on the the notion that I HAVE to accept their culture, then I'm being offensive and discriminating! If you don't like what you're hearing, change the station! They should NOT have to change! This is how we lose our freedom to to the insane notion that no one will be offended!

Sass
Sass

Sad to hear that Hmong or not that people can't seem to understand the difference between a parody comedy bit and hate speech.... Forget the fact that the Dave Ryan show has a parody for every race just about including white people but hey what's the point of having free speech when you can't use it because even letting women speak on air would offend alot of muslims in the same way....

Rule
Rule

i found the song funny until the word Hmong pop up...gezz couldn't they used azn.... it would of made more sense and less racist.....

Johnny Lee
Johnny Lee

KDWB Dave Show is such a desperate for spot light low life scums radio show! I listen to KS95 and 93X. It's funny b/c it's not the Hmong peep's lost but KDWB's in sponors, listeners and $! I'm Hmong.. n KDWB's Hmong song doesn't bother me at all b/c I get alot of white tails all the time... we flip em white H.'s like flap jacks! :)

tigerlover
tigerlover

i suggest that kdwb beter know what they say before they do. steve-o sucks. apologozing doesnt really work and help just to let you know.

shoua
shoua

Hmong-Americans need to realize the nature of humor. Just like how Chris Rock makes racial jokes about whites, blacks, Mexicans, and asians - Steve-O wrote a parody about Hmong people. Any racist impression listeners get from that reflects on Steve-O. Most educated and well-rounded people know that Hmong people are not described by Steve-O's lyrics.

I am a Hmong woman in the Twin Cities area and love to listen to KDWB!

Chill....

XTCNPX
XTCNPX

Just a concerned fellow Hmong who feels that aside from getting a cheap laugh at the expense of a relatively underrepresented community, people like Dave Ryan don’t really know (or perhaps care much) about who we really are: mostly hard working Americans who sacrificed everything—as Allies of the United States during the Vietnam War—and continue to strive to make a better life for ourselves and our families in this new country we now call home. Frog Town got turned around and revitalized in large part due to the backs of hard-working Hmong tax paying businesses, consumers, tax-payers, home owners and concerned citizens. The stereotypes speak nothing of this.

My major concern is not really about me or your average Hmong person who can speak up for ourself and laugh off such ignorant rants as facetious, baseless and not worth one’s time of the day. What agitates me is that undeniable visceral feeling about the “little guy” who cannot—like our parents who cannot speak or understand one word of English or our kids who get laughed at . . . and worst yet bullied because, “Hey—big deal—it’s ok to laugh at Hmong people. Come on! Who cares. Get over it . . . it’s just a joke!”

Thank you Health Partners and AT&T; the back-lash is coming! And . . . the really funny thing is . . . now it’s no longer funny to people like Dave Ryan/KDWB; they just don’t get it (the punch line—that is). Perhaps, now . . . they’re the victim. Oh no . . . not so funny when the table gets turned.

Stupidjunk
Stupidjunk

Oh the things 96.3 gets away with because they have a more diverse cast. I think its sad when everyone's gets together to stand up to a radio stations attempt at humor and very few will stand up when its their neighbor or an African-American Perkins employee that refuses to serve "Chinese kinda people".

REALtalk612
REALtalk612

An apology in words is worthless. Let's see some action to the word. I know they are trying to put an event together to make up for it, but you know what, they better hook up with the right organizations to put it together to put some credibility to their apologetic attempt to the community. This time, they need to think before they act.

For all the other people who think what he did was ok, you better recognize this: There is a difference between being Anti-Racist and Non-Racist. NON-RACISM: "The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to shift responsibility for changing a racist system from whites, to blaming people of color for the racist system. Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing our racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, AND on those who refuse to challenge it (non-racists). Silence is consent."...So people who think this is OK, you now have an actualization that, the people of color are battling you too.

LeeAnne
LeeAnne

All of us have the choice to contribute to the healing of the world, to making the world a better place, or not. KDWB made a very poor choice. With the airing of this song they contributed to ugliness and racism. I am appalled not only that they aired it, but that they still don't see the damage they have done. Praise to HealthEast who pulled their advertising funding, I hope more follow in their footsteps. My teenage son and I have stopped listening to KDWB permanently over this.

Sarah
Sarah

I think this is racism. And if it's allowed on PUBLIC AIRWAYS then it is a federal offense. Un-Be-Lievable.

Kirstenlynncourtney
Kirstenlynncourtney

Steve is an idiot and I'm not just saying that because of the current trouble he's in. He's the most annoying type of moron: he thinks he is intelligent and acts like he's smarter than everyone on the show, when in fact, he makes the stupidest comments. He's one of those people that can never be wrong and always has to have the last word. I love Dave, Lena, and Crisco!!! However, I find myself switching stations more often as I can't deal with Steve and his jackass attitude.

Shuforce
Shuforce

if you dont like it stop listening to their shit and stop supporting them. let the people decide.

Iain St James
Iain St James

this reminds me of when they told people not to vote and steered them elsewhere on election day. They take the stance that they met it as humour, yet even though they violate laws, offend people, they have the power of Clear Channel backing them. Had this been done on NPR you can bet there would be HUGE call to close down the station. Ever wonder why Dave Ryan can't keep a staff? Look how many have gone through his show in the last 15 years. I can not wait for something terrible to happen to hi, and it will, karma is vengeful.

iheartheenim
iheartheenim

another dumbass white BOY, notice the BOY not men

asianz
asianz

This is not an apology!

Bruce Vang
Bruce Vang

I don't think it's funny to make fun of the poor (public setting) in this case poking fun at Hmongs who may be economically less fortunate or whose teenager is a part this country's early pregnancy problem. I grew up poor in the 70s and 80s sleeping with my four brothers in one bedroom. Today some of my cousins and relatives stlll huddle together (10 or more people) living in a 2 bedroom house. Entertainment or not, KDWB's Hmong parody song for the most part are childish, insensitive and socially irresponsible.

Vwjmai1024
Vwjmai1024

I think it's funny and stupid at the same time, but if you're going to make fun of hmong why the hell do you said "Vang" this is directly to the Vang people. Seriously I think you don't know us HMONG that well, why don't you come licks some HMONG ASS and get the full story before you go and talk shits about HMONG!

Jackson
Jackson

I have bigger things in life to worry about then to see and hear everyone bitch and complain about this. Get over it already. It's called American Idiot for a reason. They asked for listeners to text in a topic and an idiot text that subject in, so stop blaming KDWB. I understand that the song should have proceed with caution and better judgment, but they are comedians....what do you expect. I bet if they were to sang a song about other races, other than your kind, you'd be laughing too. Stop being hypocritical.

Kjulievang3
Kjulievang3

I have bigger things in life to worry about then to see and hear everyone bitch and complain about this. Get over it already. It's called American Idiot for a reason. They asked for listeners to text in a topic and an idiot text that subject in, so stop blaming KDWB. I understand that the song should have proceed with caution and better judgment, but they are comedians....what do you expect. I bet if they were to sang a song about other races, other than your kind, you'd be laughing too. Stop being hypocritical.

Choua Xiong
Choua Xiong

When I listened to the song, i was shocked that it aired on public radio. I have a sense of humor but whenever you make a parody about race, you always tread on thin waters. B/c either we going to love it, or hate it. And for me personally, I hated it. I found it offensive and ignorant. Some say "just let it go, its a joke". It was only a joke b/c they sang the song to eric clapton "tears in heaven". Some others are like "they are like that all the time". So they are stereotype people all the time? It truly amazes me that this kinda of behavior is on a main stream radio station.

To make it worse, their Facebook apology was the standard company apology letter that was copied and pasted to their page. According to many of the hmong listeners, they care SOO much about our community, Have they apologized on air yet? IDK, but im pretty sure they wont. Some may let this sorta behavior go b/c its easier than saying something back.

Tsim
Tsim

Everytime someone does something they apologize and everything supposed to be fine...apologizing does nothing for me, though i dont really care if they do sketches like this...if someone directs a personal comment; than there will be consequences and should very well be...i dont listen to kdwb much because kfan but being hmong myself...eh needed to put my input! Loosen up live life, there are bigger things to worry about!

Ahxjdkal
Ahxjdkal

Ugh! Why does it have to be the vang clan?

Johnny
Johnny

Oh Noes! Another case of offensensitivity

joe
joe

Dave Ryan is a complete douchenozzle.

man!
man!

They had another song about two month ago entitled "I Hate Hmong." What a racist radio station.

Mtj333
Mtj333

It would be one thing if Clear Channel actually employed some people of color on the air. Look at the morning crew. What's wrong with this picture?

Miranda rose
Miranda rose

people are way to sensitive, anyone who listens to the show know they didn't mean any disrespect! i ♥ listening to Dave Ryan and the Morning show!

Marcus
Marcus

Whoa, didn't know Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker created Dilbert. Could have sworn that was Scott Adams.

purplesquirrel
purplesquirrel

Scott Adams is Dilbert's creator, not Scott Walker.

Albatross
Albatross

"we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended"

Typical "passive voice" apology. Wrong. This is how you apologize:

"We apologize to everyone that we offended."

No "may have." No "inadvertently."

My personal motto is 'comedy is dangerous,' so I understand sometimes you're going to screw up, sometimes really, really badly.

So if you're going to endeavor to be funny, then you should learn how to apologize properly.

People are Dumb
People are Dumb

The number of educated and well-rounded in the United States is rather low. You also wouldn't believe the number of educated and well-rounded people who would believe this kind of thing. People are rather dumb.

Lenny
Lenny

I lol'd...

Shoua you're right. We need to chill out.

If you need me I'll be either hanging out with Jose at Taco Bell, Jim Bob at the Nascar Race, or playing ball with Malik in North Minneapolis.

SMH...

xzy
xzy

You cannot compare Chris Rock to Steve-O. Chris Rock is a true comedian that earned his stripes as a comedian.

Bill Bixpie
Bill Bixpie

There was a time, not long ago, when there was music on the radio.

Betripping
Betripping

Seriously? Have you not look at the white pages. Clearly there is alot of Vangs.

Sunsetstar1564
Sunsetstar1564

Kdwb should have enough common sense to not have played that song. I personally do not listen to kdwb because of the offensive material.

Sound Ri
Sound Ri

I'll do that when you stop sucking some white cock :-) * Now that's FUNNY :D - I'm a comedian btw.

Lenny
Lenny

Apparently you do have bigger things in life to worry about, like commenting on City Pages at work...

Everyone can agree the song was stupid, but to flat out defend KDWB because this is an ongoing take they use every week is flat out ridiculous.

Please don't compare these radio personalites to the likes of Chris Rock, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and George Lopez.

Eanderson1974
Eanderson1974

Let me guess, you're white? I bet you wouldn't appreciate being called cracker, honky, or white trash would you? Mocking other people's ethnicity is not funny or appropriate but then again Dave Ryan and company has the maturity level of a six year old.

Mtj333
Mtj333

So if someone made fun of your family because of their misfortunes, that would be ok with you?

Eanderson1974
Eanderson1974

Oh please, Miranda. It is as clear as glass those lyrics mocks Hmong culture. Funny it is not.

Lenny
Lenny

Right on Cracker!

Bill Bixpie
Bill Bixpie

Just a thought. To say, "We apologize to everyone that we offended." implies the offense was intentional and therefore deliberate. Their wording, in context, implies just the opposite. Anyone and everyone mean "any person" and "all the people," accordingly and in this case hold equal standing.

Nopain2u
Nopain2u

I'm Hmong and I'm happy to hear that you spend your free time looking up Vang in the phone book. Perhaps you might enjoying sucking a Vang Penis.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...