San Francisco, CA: On January 19, 2012, Jay Leno the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno showed an illuminated picture of Sri Darbar Sahib and announced to the world that this was the summer home of Republican Party hopeful, Mitt Romney. Romney, who is a rich businessman – politician, is under fire these days for amassing wealth and paying lesser taxes. This derogatory depiction of Sri Darbar Sahib as the home of rich is contrary to the reality and hurtful to the sentiments of the Sikhs.
Keeping in view the sacred importance and the history of Sri Darbar Sahib, Sikh- Americans have protested en-masse by calling up the studios of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and voicing their concern. Calls have also been placed at the NBC offices in New York and San Jose, California. Sikhs are so much upset that during the 18 hours 1400 people joined Boycott Jay leno Group started by Harjot Singh Khalsa of San Jose.
Punjabi Radio USA did the talk show and its office got hundreds of calls.
This is not the first time that this show host has targeted Sikhs in his monologue. Previously, in 2007 he called Sikhs ‘diaper heads.’ In 2010, he remarked, falsely so, in his monologue that President Obama could not visit Sri Darbar Sahib because of requirements of wearing a turban. Clearly, Jay Leno’s racist comments need to be stopped right here.
Online petition has been already started by Boycott Jay leno Group to send a strong message that the sentiments of Sikhs worldwide are off limits to his monologues and cannot be used further his TV ratings. The Right to Speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution excludes defamation and spreading hate, incitement and false advertising.