Minnesota-based HealthPartners has pulled its advertising from KDWB Radio, one of the Twin Cities' most popular stations, because of a lyrical parody that aired recently making fun of Hmong.
"We have expectations that our business partners will treat people with respect," Jeff Shelman, a spokesman for the health insurer, said Monday.
"Until they are in sync with that," Shelman said, the advertising boycott against KDWB (101.3 FM) will remain in place.
HealthPartners had been running ads for Virtuwell, an online clinic it offers. The insurer informed KDWB on Friday of its suspension of advertising.
Last month, spoof lyrics to the tune of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" were sung on KDWB by a sidekick during Dave Ryan's morning show. The parody joked about Hmong families crowding into homes and girls getting pregnant early and often.
In response to complaints, the station posted an apology on Facebook: "While we've received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent."
The most recent U.S. Census Bureau measure estimates there are nearly 200,000 Hmong living in the United States, with about 50,000 in Minnesota.