WGA Presidents Oppose FCC's Investigation of Stephen Colbert's Trump Joke

by Paige Albiniak  |  05.08.2017

With the threat of a writers strike now behind it, the presidents of the Writers Guild of America East and West turned their attention to the FCC and its plan to review a joke made by late-night comedian Stephen Colbert about President Donald Trump.

In Colbert’s 12-plus-minute monologue on May 2, 2017, in defense of John Dickerson of CBS’ Face the Nation, Colbert said “the only thing [Trump’s] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c—- holster.” (at 11:48 in the below video).

CBS bleeped the c-word — although it was actually the word “cuck,” which is an inside joke/insult among Breitbart News and ultra-conservative insiders. There, “cuck” is used as an abbreviation of the word “cuckhold” and, to them, means “weak conservative.” Still, the network censors took a conservative approach to the usage.

On Friday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told Philadelphia Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that he’s seen the clip and reviewed the complaints.

“[W]e are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action,” Pai told the station.

Traditionally, appropriate action for what the FCC rules as indecency has been a fine, Pai went on to say. CBS, on which The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs, is familiar with that action, having faced large fines after Justin Timberlake briefly revealed Janet Jackson’s bare breast during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.

Michael Winship, president of WGAE, and Howard Rodman, president of WGAW, said in a statement Monday that Pai’s remarks were a “willful disregard of the First Amendment.”

“Colbert was poking fun at authority, a time-honored American tradition and an essential principle of democracy. What is obscene is not what Colbert said but any attempt by the government to stifle dissent and creativity. Our unions vehemently support Colbert and his writers and will fight for their or anyone’s right to publicly express his or her opinion of our elected officials.”

It should be hard for the FCC to pursue fines against CBS. The Late Show airs at 11 p.m., well within the broadcast “safe harbor” of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for indecent or profane content. In addition, CBS bleeped the word and blurred the Colbert’s mouth.

READ MORE: Variety

[Image of Stephen Colbert courtesy of Variety]

← Back

New from Daily Brief

Chip Returns to Venice in Season 2 of ‘Flaked’
His web of lies becomes more tangled as he tries to move on from the past.
ABC’s Marla Provencio to Receive PromaxBDA Lifetime Achievement Award
Longtime marketing executive will be honored June 5 at PromaxBDA: The Conference in Los Angeles.
Clone Sisters Fight for Freedom in Final Season of ‘Orphan Black’
The sestras must face off against Rachel in BBC America’s action-packed promo.
Creative Review: La Comunidad
Incorporating American and Argentinian cultures has led to major campaigns in both countries.
Nat Geo Partners with Mini Countryman for Integrated Branded Spot
Promo by 2C Creative ties together upcoming series "America’s Natural Parks,” sweepstakes for show and new Mini Countryman car.
Creative Review: La Comunidad
La incorporación de la cultura americana y argentina que derivó en grandes campañas en ambos países.
Jun 5
The Conference 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design North America Awards 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Global Excellence Awards 2017
Jun 19
Station Summit 2017
Jun 22
The PromaxBDA Awards at Station Summit
FG|PG Advertisement Power Your Career Advertisement