Radio & TV TalkRadio & TV Talk

Access Atlanta > Entertainment > Radio Talk > Archives > 2006 > October > 26 > Entry

10/26: Yogi/Panda using bodyguards

There was reasonable speculation that Yogi & Panda would drop their lawsuit once Clear Channel fired the Regular Guys Monday. But according to their attorney Jamie Hernan, that’s not going to happen.

Clear Channel and Yogi & Panda negotiated, he said, but Yogi (Juan Tapia) & Panda (Jose Carias) couldn’t get reassurances that they wouldn’t be retaliated against for their lawsuit, which also targeted Clear Channel (as well as Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler). He said Yogi & Panda, who do mornings on Clear Channel Spanish language station Viva 105.7, are under contract through 2009.

Hernan also said they demanded reassurances that Clear Channel not be allowed to hire the Regular Guys ever again. Clear Channel, he said, refused to make that a condition.

“We attempted to withhold comment on the story as long as we could to allow for this to be resolved in as private a way as possible,” Hernan said. “For months, Yogi and Panda tried to resolve this internally without having to go to a lawsuit. It’s a nature of things that us withholding comment doesn’t stop the story. The story has been shifted by blog postings. We are absolutely shocked and floored by the emails we have been receiving. Just vulgar, racist emails.”

Yogi and Panda have had to hire bodyguards because they fear for their safety, he noted. And given that their boss Chuck Deskins has told employees not to discuss the case with the media, he doesn’t want to jeopardize their jobs by having them speak to me.

He also said Yogi & Panda have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and plan to do so with the Federal Communications Commission. He declined to comment about the criminal charge against Regular Guys co-host Wachs for the restroom recording stunt Oct. 9 that led to their dismissal.

“We are loyal, team players and made every effort to handle this matter internally,? said Yogi in a press release. “However, after months of being ridiculed publicly without Clear Channel taking any action to stop it we finally had to draw the line and stand up to protect our rights. While we appreciate that Clear Channel terminated the employment of the Regular Guys, it is upsetting that we were forced to file a lawsuit and make this a public issue to get any response from the company. All we want to do is come to work, do our job and feel safe. Who should be subjected to a daily barrage of nasty comments and actions solely based on our race and the fact that we speak Spanish? What type of work environment is that??

I’m sorry I can’t allow comments on this item because things went off the rails Tuesday and Wednesday. We had to take about 30 comments down.

Permalink | |