RELIGIOUS INSENSITIVITY IN COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
We plan to include in this essay any activities by companies that are grossly insensitive to
SONY's CD Offends Hindus:
Aerosmith, a popular US rock band, released a CD called "Nine Lives"
on 1997--MAR-18. This is
distributed through Columbia Records, a subsidiary of the SONY Group of Companies.
The CD "hit number 1 on the US Billboard charts in the first week of
release. Within 4 weeks of release, the album had gone gold in 6 countries,
platinum in 1 and double platinum in 2...By 1998, the Nine Lives album had
gone double platinum in the US." 1
The cover of "Nine Lives" shows a very famous, traditional Hindu painting of their God, Lord
Krishna, in battle with a serpent Kalinag. The painting has been modified to put
the face of a cat in place of the God's head. They have also changed the
chest of the God to a that of a female wearing a blouse.
The American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition (AHADC) has asked major distributors
to withdraw the CD from their shelves. 3 Only Blockbuster Music has so far decided to do so. The AHADC has also asked SONY to:
So far, the response has been:
|issue a written apology to the Hindu community |
|withdraw the existing stock of CDs |
|create a new cover that is not offensive for future CDs |
|a verbal apology from SONY |
|a written apology by Aerosmith in the form of a press release |
|some modification to the SONY WWW site; however, an image of the CD
The next step that was planned by AHADC was to urge the Hindu community to boycott products and picket the offices of both
SONY and Columbia, and to seek a permanent injunction.
As of 2002-MAY-5, the CD label was featured on the SONY WWW site. 2
The cover has been changed. It now shows the body of a woman with T-shirt
and jeans, with the head of a cat. It is available as a CD or mini disc. It
carries a "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content" warning label.
Whirlpool accused of religious discrimination:
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): "A
group of 16 current and former Muslim employees at a Whirlpool plant in La
Vergne, Tenn., filed suit this week against the household appliance giant,
alleging a consistent pattern of religious discrimination. The class action
lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle of Tennessee, claims
that Muslim employees were denied the right to pray at work, despite
repeated requests for religious accommodation." 4
According to , "Managers at the Whirlpool Corp. plant in La Vergne
entered restrooms to ensure that Muslim workers were not praying and yanked
scarves off women's heads, workers at the factory claim in a religion
discrimination lawsuit." 5
CAIR had allegedly attempted to mediate with Whirlpool as long ago as
1998, but were refused. Whirlpool allegedly would only deal with the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which hears complaints about
No court date has been set.
- Jools Holland, "Aerosmith," at:
- The SONY WWW site is at:
- The American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition has a WWW site with information about
this case. It includes a form for sending Emails to all of the major distributors. See:
Their E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Tenn. Muslims accuse Whirlpool of religious discrimination,"
- Anita Wadhwani, "Muslims charge discrimination at Whirlpool plant
in La Vergne"
Copyright © 2000 & 2002, Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-MAY-
Latest update: 2002-MAY-3
Author: B.A. Robinson