Trio special “Uncensored Comedy: That’s Not Funny” has been censored.
Original doc is the hub of net’s theme month “Uncensored Comedy.” Trio had hoped to explore the line between funny and offensive and where they occasionally crossed, but Long Island-based WLNY drew its own line.
Net, which occasionally timebuys on local cable to extend programming reach, had skedded to run an abridged 60-minute version of doc on WLNY this Sunday. On Wednesday, WLNY rejected the program for not meeting broadcast standards.
A review of the special even appeared in Thursday’s edition of Newsday, the local paper.
Station, which first saw a press cut, asked that some language be removed, which Trio agreed to, removing the cursing. Now the issue seems to be over the use of N-word, which comes up in a Richard Pryor comedy routine and when author Randall Kennedy, who wrote “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word,” appears on camera to discuss its cultural relevancy.
Finding the line
“The documentary is an investigation of how far the ‘line’ in comedy has moved,” said a disappointed Trio prexy Lauren Zalaznick. “If you deny the existence for the need of this kind of dialogue — which is all around us — you just feed into it by suppressing it.”
A call to WLNY was not returned.
Radio spots for “Uncensored Comedy” were also refused on local stations WINS and WCBS.
This is Trio’s second brush with censorship. Last year, during its first June “Uncensored” month focusing on the arts, ad with Michaelangelo’s statue of David was sent back to the station by the New York Times with a request to cover up genitalia.