"USA for Indonesia" is a parody sung to the 1985 tune "We Are the World," which was performed by USA for Africa; a parody of charity supergroup songs, it mocks the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake disaster and its victims. "USA for Indonesia" was aired on WQHT-FM (Hot 97), a New York City radio station, during the week of January 17, 2005. The show's producer, Rick Del Gado, wrote and produced the song, while shock jock Miss Jones introduced it. This was a response to jolt the ratings when former Hot 97 morning hosts Star & Buc Wild arrived at rival station WWPR-FM. The lyrics were deemed derogatory and offensive to many listeners, notably Asian Americans.
Miss Info, a co-host of now defunct radio show, made known her disagreement with the song being aired on the radio. Miss Jones accused her of feeling superior probably because she was Asian, and Todd Lynn, another co-host of then-radio show said afterward that he thought he was going to start shooting Asians. Within about a week many listeners, politicians and civil rights groups held a protest rally outside Hot 97. New York City Councilmen John Liu and Charles Barron talked to media and press reporters about this fiasco and demanded that disciplinary action be taken against Hot 97. Councilwoman Letitia James noted "If you're going to profit from hate, it's going to cost you and it's going to cost you dearly." The week following this protest rally, rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa and other listeners held another protest rally, targeting Hot 97's misappropration of the hip hop culture and demanded a format change. Simultaneously, Sprint and McDonald's as well as New York Newsday pulled their advertising from the station, resulting in the station's financial losses.
- House of Congress Press Release from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: Pelosi Condemns Broadcast of ‘Tsunami Song’
- What Happens When Shock Jocks Go Too Far?, from P.O.V. at PBS.org