It’s really hard to believe that a smart, creative guy like Larry David would write and act in an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in which he is shown urinating on a picture of Jesus Christ.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue assailed the scene on the group’s Web site, saying, “Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother?”
Donahue added, “But since HBO only likes to dump on Catholics and David is Jewish, we’ll never know.”
Deal Hudson, author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com, said of the episode, "'I don't think it's funny. Why is it that people are allowed to publicly show that level of disrespect for Christian symbols?” Hudson is calling for an apology from the show's producers and writers.
For some reason, HBO executives felt compelled to release a statement on the matter. Apparently they did not feel any need to apologize.
HBO’s statement read, “Anyone who follows 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' knows that the show is full of parody and satire. Larry David makes fun of everyone, most especially himself. The humor is always playful and certainly never malicious.”
Urinating on a picture held sacred by the majority of Americans is playful? Who would think that?
David and the HBO execs live in that bubble of delusion in which everyone they know, everyone they socialize with, everyone in there little Lefty world, thinks the same way about religious people. They let us know how they feel with their constant depictions of people of faith as foolish idiots.
That’s just what David did in this “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode, in which the characters, after seeing a drop of urine near Christ’s eyes, get on their knees in prayer over what they perceive as a miracle.
According to David’s comedic sensibilities, people who believe in miracles are dolts, but people who have hybrid cars parked in the driveways of 15,000-square-foot mansions in Beverly Hills are rational.
Imagine what would happen if a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” character urinated on picture of Al Gore. Hollywood would have a hissy fit.
When the Village Voice asked Bill Maher about the episode, he answered by going on a rant against Catholics.
“I think Catholicism is stupid and dangerous,” Maher said. “I think all religion is stupid and dangerous. I was raised Catholic, so I know more about that.”
Now Larry David has lots of money and he is particularly beloved by the environmentalists in Hollywood. After all, he drives a Prius both in real life and on the show.
So he figures he can joke about whatever he wants to. But, not so fast, Larry. Remember how Whoppie Goldberg lost her relationship with SlimFast over a joke?
Companies can be choosy about what kind of humor they will associate with.
For example, Microsoft just pulled its sponsorship from Fox television’s upcoming Seth MacFarlane comedy special. The show is titled "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show." The network plans to air the show on Nov. 8, but it will have to get a new sponsor.
The special was to be a part of a marketing partnership Microsoft had put together with News Corp. as a part of the launch of Windows 7. MacFarlane’s special was going to be shown without any commercials, instead having innovative embedded marketing messages.
But then some Microsoft execs watched a taping of the special.
The execs sat there smiling as MacFarlane and Alex Borstein, who is the voice of the "Family Guy" character, Lois, extolled the virtues Windows 7.
But the tech giant’s executives weren’t smiling as MacFarlane and Borstein joked about deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.
Not so funny.
So Microsoft pulled its advertising dollars.
Maybe, just maybe, HBO will be forced to do some pulling of its own.
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