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Press Release

August 16, 2010


Statement by Parents Television Council President Tim Winter on Comedy Central’s “Roast of David Hasselhoff”


Is an oven at Auschwitz good for a laugh?  Is a slave ship a punch line?

Americans are fortunate – indeed we are blessed – to have a constitutionally-guaranteed right of free speech.  And as offensive as “comedy” may be to some, we have a right in this country to speak it.  Sadly the cable television industry has concocted a scheme whereby those who are most shocked, offended or harmed by such “humor” are forced to subsidize it. 

In order to watch a powerful History Channel presentation about the horrors of slavery, cable subscribers were forced to underwrite jokes about African Americans, slave ships and picking cotton.

In order to watch a cable news report about religious struggles in the Middle East, cable subscribers were forced to underwrite jokes about Jews wanting to jump into an oven at Auschwitz.

Comedy Central, and its corporate parent Viacom, could offer such a program on a premium or pay-per-view basis.  But with their anti-consumer, anti-competitive market leverage, they are able to bundle Comedy Central with their other owned networks, prohibiting their offended customers from opting out of paying for such a flagrant diatribe.

The Parents Television Council is committed to the principle of Cable Choice, whereby cable customers can choose for themselves which cable networks they wish to purchase and bring into their homes.  Last night’s Comedy Central “Roast of David Hasselhoff” is a powerful example of what is wrong with the cable industry bundling scheme, and we will do everything within our power to use it as a lever for Cable Choice.


To sign our petition to the sponsors and your elected officials, click here.



To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





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