Jon Stewart’s Humor Doesn’t Fly With Delta
In a grand statement against off-color humor, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has pulled its advertising from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” over a recent skit that featured a picture of a manger between the legs of a naked woman. In the skit, which ran in April, Stewart joked that women should “protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusions” using a “vagina manger.”
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Delta Air Lines spokesperson Leslie Parker said in a statement on Tuesday that Delta is “always re-evaluating our advertising opportunities and updating our strategy in an effort to reach our desired audience.” She added that the company does not discriminate or “condone discrimination in regard to age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or gender.” Delta decided on Thursday to discontinue its advertising with the show.
A conservative group, the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, has been pressuring Delta and other Comedy Central advertisers for weeks to pull their spots on the Daily Show. The group has also been campaigning for Stewart to apologize for the skit. The group’s president, Bill Donohue, instigated a boycott of Kellogg’s (NYSE:K) because it has refused to pull its advertising, and told Comedy Central’s parent company Viacom (NYSE:VIA) in a letter on Tuesday they should be “as offended as we are.”
“What Stewart did wasn’t a joke,” said Donohue’s letter. “It was hate speech. We could have pressed for him to be fired, but we did not. All we want is an apology.”
For his part, Jon Stewart has acknowledged the group’s campaign, but is not caving to their demands. Denouncing what he called the “outrage machine” fed by cable news, Stewart stated at a stand-up gig last month in Florida, “I am not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.”