The NBC talk show “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has repeatedly smeared priests and Catholics should object, said the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
The April 29 episode of the show had a skit about the royal wedding in the United Kingdom. The stage personality Dame Edna pretended to be a British correspondent at the event and was shown taking secret footage while host Jay Leno pretended to be speaking with her live.
Dame Edna approached a vendor selling a cheese called “Stinking Bishop.”
To this, the actor responded “Stinking Bishop? My son toyed with the priesthood. Or perhaps it was the other way around.”
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, criticized the show.
“Jay Leno would not be allowed to smear over 40,000 Catholic priests—over and over again—if NBC executives objected,” Donohue charged. “His relentless assaults suggest a tolerance for bigotry that is disturbing. Leno and his scriptwriters are a sick bunch.”
He said the skit was especially “invidious” because of its “wholly gratuitous nature.”
“There is no relationship between the royal wedding and Catholic priests. No matter, the writers just decided to jam their way in with another shot at priests.”
Because numerous complaints to the show’s executive producer have been dismissed, Donohue asked Catholics to take their protest “to the top.”
He asked Catholics to contact Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, through executive vice president for publicity Rebecca Marks. Her e-mail is [email protected].