Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What Is Going On With This World - O&A Suspended

This is getting nuts...it really is. First, it was Don Imus and "nappygate." Then there were a couple of much smaller market types who were fired for repeating that same statement. Next came the firing of JV and Elvis on Free-FM here in New York for an Asian parody that they created when their show was in San Francisco. That's right - they were fired for a repeat!

Now, although they are not fired, comes this missive from XM Radio:

XM Radio Suspends Opie & Anthony
WASHINGTON and NEW YORK, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- XM Radio announced today that the company has suspended Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, hosts of "The Opie & Anthony Show" and ceased broadcast of the show for 30 days, effective immediately.

XM Radio deplored the comments aired on "The Opie & Anthony Show" last week. At the time, the company strongly expressed its views to Opie and Anthony, and they issued an immediate apology.

Comments made by Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them.

As a company, XM provides customers with tools to control what they listen to on XM. "The Opie & Anthony Show" appears on one of XM's explicit language channels (XL). Whenever a radio is tuned to an explicit language channel, the letters "XL" continuously appear on the screen. XM frequently mentions on its explicit language channels that the content may be inappropriate for certain listeners and tells how to "block" channels that feature this type of content. Channel blocking is available through xmradio.com or by calling 1-800-XMRADIO.

What did they do wrong? Read this from Wikipedia (which had it updated right after the suspension was announced):

A homeless man making a guest appearance on the XM version of the show described how he would like to explicitly rape Condoleeza Rice, the US Secretary of State, Laura Bush, the first lady, and Queen Elizabeth II. [21] In the wake of the Don Imus firing there has been speculation that O&A may be fired following the bit aired on their program May 9, 2007 which featured the character "Homeless Charlie" saying of Condoleeza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth that he'd "love to f--- that b----." On their Friday show, Opie and Anthony had apologized for the bit by saying, "We apologize to the public officials for comments that we made on our XM show on May 9th. We take very seriously the responsibility that comes with our creative freedom and regret any offense that this segment has caused."[22] On May 15, 2007, XM suspended Opie and Anthony for 30 days. [10]

OK, I get it - it's bad...but isn't that satellite radio?? Look, I'm not an O&A listener, but I respect that they stood behind Imus during that debacle. Plus these people are hired to be witty and irreverent. So aren't you getting what you expected?

We're going to hell in a handbag, folks. Whatever that means.

1 comment:

Harold said...

Whether or not people like O&A is not the issue.
The climate of this country has now turned to one where if a single person is "offended", they scream and demand the offending party be fired.

Fans of Imus (and O&A) aren't really organized. So they weren't/aren't capable of establishing a counter protest.

How many people called for the firing of Imus? 25? 50? 100? Now...compare that how many rabid (not casual) fans Imus had.

Imagine 50% of those fans contacted all of the sponsors of Imus' show and told them that if they pull sponsorship, we're not using your products.

That's what is needed in order to counter these easily offended boobs.