Portland Radio Station Gets Slammed for Racist Billboard Adoring its Fans

kxl_billboardPop culture is so great, right?

We all get to add memorable quotes to our lexicon of coolness. At parties, we become the local ‘Jeopardy’ champion because of our potpourri of useless knowledge. In life, it just makes us all feel better that we can force “Show Me the Money,” “You Can’t Handle the Truth,” or even “My precious” in a conversation.

Most of our pop culture references come from movies and reiterated by the radio heads on-air. I should know. I was one for 12 glorious years. A station where I did not work is KXL 101-FM in Portland, Ore.

I suppose that’s a good thing because with this article, I probably would not have lasted. The station’s promotions and marketing department were thinking of a way to further enhance its tagline “Stay Connected.” To wit, someone who knows pop culture spoke up with a great movie reference that turned out to be a half-baked idea (and a full-fledged case study) for crisis communications.

See the picture?

That headline is from the unquestionably great Stanley Kubrick film “Full Metal Jacket.” It was also resurrected in the not-so-great-but-highly-questionable song from 2 Live Crew “Me So Horny.” Only both examples are heavily frowned upon by most Asian communities. That’s important to note because KXL-FM decided a great location for this two-story billboard would be on Northwest 2nd and Couch in the heart of Portland’s Chinatown.

Yeah, that’s understanding your demographic. Nice. The billboard is down now, after a six-week stint before anyone noticed, but I would venture to say KXL probably lost a listener, or as we would hear in pop culture, “Hasta la vista, baby.”