AHADC Efforts Leads to Sony Apology to Hindus : Offending CD Cover to Be Withdrawn Immediately

The American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition (AHADC), is pleased to announce that on April 16, 1997, the senior lawyer for Sony Music & Entertainment, Inc., New York, (Sony), Mr. Joseph Salvo, contacted the attorney for AHADC, Mr. Chetan P. Tanna, and issued an apology on behalf of Sony/Columbia to the entire Hindu community for the offensive cover of the CD “Nine Lives” by a rock group, Aerosmith.

The cover of the CD “Nine Lives” portrayed a distorted and offensive picture of Hindu God, Shree Krishna, which infuriated thousands of Hindus around the world. Over 10 Hindu organizations, representing thousands of Hindus had joined the AHADC in its protest against the Sony/Columbia/Aerosmith trio.

The AHADC had set up a protest site,

which was visited by about 10,000 people in two weeks, and over 1,400 persons signed individual on-line protest letters to SONY, Columbia and Aerosmith, and several stores selling this CD.

Sony’s senior counsel said, “Sony could not ignore thousands of messages from the Hindus around the world, and had decided to immediately stop the production of said CD.

AHADC and SONY Corporation, have verbally agreed that :

1. As of today, SONY will stop manufacturing the CD, until the cover is changed.

2. SONY will try to recall the CDs from the market as much as possible.

3. SONY will provide the AHADC with the new cover for AHADC’s approval before publication. SONY will not use any Hindu religious symbols in any form.

4. SONY will issue a public apology to the Hindus in the Hindu/India related publications, in the U.S., as well as in India, and also on the SONY website called SonyOnLine. (www.music.sony.com.)

The AHADC appreciates SONY’s decision in response to the protest by the Hindu community around the world. The AHADC would especially like to thank Blockbuster Music for assuring us earlier that they will not sell the CD, unless the offensive cover was changed.

The AHADC believes that SONY’s actions are the due to the unity, determination and hard work by the Hindu community. We thank the Hindu organizations, who joined the AHADC, and all individuals who signed the online protest and/or sent e-mail and letters to SONY/Columbia/Aerosmith and to the stores selling this CD. A notable aspect of this protest movement was that we received support also from our non-Hindu friends
and well-wishers!

The AHADC was convened by VHP of America (World Hindu Council of America), represented by Ajay Shah, Chetan P. Tanna, Vaani Chawla, and Rajiv Dutta