Nearly a fifth of the 192 stations carrying Group W’s syndicated talkshow “Vicki!” balked at a segment that aired Tuesday in which host Vicki Lawrence wore large Halloween prop breasts as part of a comedy segment.
The syndicator, fearful that stations would air the satellite-fed episode without looking at it, notified stations that some viewers could find a segment on the show offensive.
At least 25 stations aired a substitute episode, while another 15 just edited out the material.
In the seg, Lawrence came out wearing the prop after actress Sally Kirkland demonstrated a striptease as part of a “Make Me Sexy” show. After a commercial break, Lawrence held up the prop and showed it to the audience.
Group W sold the series as a “clean” alternative to the spate of syndicated talkshows that focus heavily on sex topics, particularly during the sweeps.
Lawrence, saying the bit was meant to be a joke, issued a statement lashing out at what she called a “dreadful double standard.”
“You can have every kind of sexual aberration discussed on other channels and … no one gets canceled,” she said. “You can waive around John Bobbitt’s penis on the news. When the subject is serious, it’s OK. But when you treat these things comedically, you’re in trouble. We have a real problem here. Let’s lighten up.”