We are starting a boycott against the Grammy's and the stereotypical performance. Please send letters to bottom addresses voicing opinion and a public apology by CBS. - Jean
Feb. 9, 2004, San Francisco
The Native American Cultural Center (NACC) in San
Francisco announced a boycott today of organizations
connected with the racist portrayal of American
Indians on the 2004 Grammy telecast.
The Offense occurred during hip-hop band Outkast's performance at
the end of the show. Outkast dancers dressed as
racist stereotypes of American Indians emerged from a
fake tepee set on stage and then proceeded to bump and
grind in feather headdresses, fringe skirts, and
braided wigs. The USC band later joined the others
onstage dressed in 'war paint' and feather
headdresses. Many audience members including recording
stars were seen laughing at the display.
"It was the most disgusting set of racial stereotypes
aimed at American Indians that I have ever seen on
TV," said Sean Freitas, a board member of NACC. "It
was on par with white people dancing sexually in black
face, or yarmulkes, or the vestments of the Catholic
Church. I am shocked and outraged."
In a prepared statement, NACC Chair Andrew Brother Elk
called on CBS, which broadcast the show, to issue a
formal apology to the nation. "It is time for those
in the entertainment industry to realize that racial
stereotypes in the media feed social and political
disrespect towards the victims of this behavior.
American Indians do not deserve such victimization,
nor does any racial group."
Brother Elk has also lodged a formal complaint with
the Federal Communications Commission, which recently
caused a stir for its investigation of the bared
breast incident at the Super Bowl. "I consider racist
TV programming far more dangerous, because it demeans
an entire racial group. It sends a message to school
children and all citizens that it is acceptable to
insult racial groups and to commercialize their
culture in the name of entertainment."
He noted that CBS had instituted a 5 second delay to prevent any
embarrassing behavior by Grammy performers, and had
apparently found nothing wrong with the 5 minute
Outkast performance. "Besides being racially
insulting the entire number was just plain tacky," he said.
NACC is calling for a nationwide boycott of CBS,
Outkast's label Arista Records, and the Recording
Academy which sponsors the Grammys. NACC is also
encouraging artists, parents, and citizens to send
complaints to the sponsoring organizations. "We
encourage all people who have been victims of
stereotyping in the media to respond, for what affects
one group affects us all as a civilized society,"
Please contact the following organizations and express
The Grammys email@example.com=20
The FCC firstname.lastname@example.org
Arista Records email@example.com=20
A sample statement, short and sweet, but feel free to
use your own words and examples from your own cultural
I was disgusted and offended by the racist routine
Outkast performed on the 2004 Grammys. I intend to
never watch CBS and the Grammys again, nor buy another
Arista recording. I will encourage my friends to do
the same. I am also contacting the FCC.