Case Studies: What Happens When Shock Jocks Go Too Far?

Star and Buc Wild

Philadelphia's 'Power 99' radio station features shock jocks Star and Buc every weekday morning. Their tagline is "The Original Haters." On January 11, 2005, Star (Troi Terrain) called an infomercial phone number to get more information about a product called Quick Beads, which are like the beads that Venus and Serena Williams wear in their hair.

The operator who identified herself as Steena, told the DJ that the call center she had reached was located in India. The DJ became abusive, telling Steena, "Ma'am, I don't know what the hell you're saying... This call has been outsourced to India? Well, ma'am, what the "F" would you know about an American white girl's -- uh, uh -- hair? And quick beads?" When Steena tried to tell her that she found her language offensive, Star continued, "Listen to me, you dirty rat eater. I'll come out there and choke the 'F' out of you." (Read the transcript.)

According to the "Times of India" newspaper, this type of behavior is a growing trend. Frustrated Americans, angry about the outsourcing of jobs to India, have been phoning call centers to make abusive and racist comments to the operators.

After putting a clip of the phone call on the 'Power 99' website, the radio station realized that some listeners were offended by the recording when they started receiving emails from across the country complaining about the abusive call, and promptly removed it from the site.

The station issued a statement to listeners saying,"the on-air talent [of the 'Star and Buc Wild' show] has apologized and has been suspended." The co-hosts were suspended for a day. In response, Asian media watchdog groups have called for the
elimination of radio host Star (Troi Terrain) and the "Star and Buc Wild" radio program from future broadcast on 'Power 99'.

» Rubin, Daniel. "Shock jocks' skit pulled by Power 99." Philadelphia Enquirer, January 11, 2005.
» Rajghatta, Chidanand. "US Radio Jocks Suspended for a Day" The Times of India, January 13, 2005.
» PR Newswire. "American Jewish Committee, US India Political Action Committee Urge Philadelphia Radio Station to Fire Morning Show Hosts." January 21, 2005
» Wall Street Journal Opinion. "Expletives Undeleted." January 14, 2005.