We, the undersigned, members of the Chinese-American, Korean-American,
South Asian-American as well as Asian communities everywhere and with
our friends, neighbors, allies and colleagues, stand together in
protest over MTV's recent decision to eliminate MTV World: MTV Desi,
MTV Chi, MTV K. This is important programming made for our
communities and this decision effectively silences our voices and
renders Asian-American people invisible. In announcing the pending
elimination of your Asian-American division, MTV World (Desi,
Chi and K) you have excluded a large segment of the American audience
based on race and ethnicity.

This action is particularly damaging in the way it affects and
isolates our Asian-American youth. Viacom/MTVN have been insensitive
toward Asian communities in the past; in 2005, Asia Media Watch
brought to public attention incidents of racially derogatory
programming and lack of
employment diversity at Viacom/MTVN. (http://www.asianmediawatch.net/viacom).

The vision of MTV World is an important one for Asian-American
communities and indeed for the entire mainstream of America. Within a
media culture that has historically ignored Asian-American stories,
left our images out of the picture, our voices out of the dialogue and
that has maligned and caricatured us, the birth of MTV World reflected
a sincere and positive shift on the media's part to give an honest
platform to Asian-Americans, a place to explore our own issues and a
place from which to communicate our place in American culture to our
fellow citizens.

The creation of MTV World recognized the needs of our fast growing
communities as well as the fact that our collective buying power is
strong. This move reflected the best of Viacom and MTV as responsible
and progressive corporate citizens, serving the audience, advertisers
and investors in the best, most responsible way possible.

Now, in a reversal of that visionary and ethical move, MTV
seeks the elimination of programming created for this entire group of
people, while at the same time eliminating the employment of
individuals representative of that same group, all in the effort to
serve a corporate bottom line. At a time when advertisers vigorously
pursue Asian-American dollars, and much has been written about the
emerging economic power of our fast growing communities the corporate
bottom line argument lacks credibility.

MTV's statement that "we remain steadfast in super-serving multi
cultural youth, and we are continuing to investigate ways to integrate
the MTV Desi, Chi and K brands online and on our other screens," is
dubious. How is it possible to serve multi-cultural youth from the
Asian diaspora if the platform catering to them was silenced and its
workforce fired in your recent purge? Who better to know the issues
and needs of the South Asian, Korean
and Chinese communities but the Asian MTV workforce? How is it
possible to serve these communities without proper investment and
infrastructure to do so?

Your efforts to serve and reach the Latino, African-American and LGBT
communities in the recent past have been quite different, and
laudatory. These communities have been represented and empowered as a
result. Why then under serve the Asian American community? We may be
a statistically smaller group, but we are powerful, legitimate, and
contribute greatly to America in all realms.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your responsibilities to the Asian
American community and your customers at large, MTV's programming has
great influence on America's youth. Simply abolishing MTV World tells
youth that Asian Americans are insignificant and irrelevant, and their
artists, voices, experiences, and culture are not part of the fabric
of America.

At this point in world history when it is vital that people across the
globe have an opportunity to break through destructive stereotypes,
learn more about our neighbors as we struggle to live in peace and
security, your decision is damaging both in effect and in the
message that it sends. This is bizarre and sad coming from Viacom's
MTV, often known for its progressive stance on social issues,
disseminating important information, breaking down barriers and
building bridges among people.

The message that Viacom and MTV is sending seems clear in that your
companies neither recognize nor value the loyalty and support of the
Asian-American community, or from any Asian communities across
the globe. In turn, you do not view the Asian American culture as one
that needs
proper representation.

We hope that this is not the message you wish to continue sending, and
that you will reconsider and clarify your message to our communities

Immediately reversing your decision to effectively eliminate MTV
Chi, MTV K and MTV Desi

Take responsibility for and use your influence to make the
programming of MTV World available on Time Warner, Comcast, RCN, DISH,
regular DIRECTV, and all of the other major cable packages around the
country so that it actually reaches our communities, enabling us to
continue being loyal to your companies and advertisers.

Institute an internal system to sensitize and develop awareness of
Asian-America and our issues at Viacom and MTV

Respectfully submitted by the undersigned:

Senator Satveer Chaudhary
Fridley, Minnesota

Sarita Choudhury

Mira Kamdar
Author, Planet India

Deep Katdare

Madhur Jaffrey
Actor, Author

Nancy Kim
Program Manager
Non-Traditional Casting Project

Aasif Mandvi

John Mathew
Artistic Director
South Asian American Theater of Boston

Geeta Citygirl
Artistic Director
SALAAM Theater

Carl Choi
Chief Executive Officer
The Plan C Group Inc

Dr. Sunita S. Mukhi
Director of Asian/American Programs
Faculty, Department of Asian/American Studies
Stony Brook University

Manu Narayan

Sendhil Ramamurthy

Meena Natarajan
Executive/Literary Director
Pangea World Theater, Mpls.

Rajan Shah
South Asians in Media and Marketing Association (SAMMA)

Gitesh Pandya

Suvir Saran
Chef, Consultant
Author of Indian Home Cooking

Annetta Seecharran
Executive Director
South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)

Aroon Shivdasani
Executive Director
Indo-American Arts Council

Professor Sreenath Sreenivasan
Dean of Students
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

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