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Discussion topic: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

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This message was authored by JonD1492 This message was authored by: JonD1492

Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Why was the Season 11, Episode 2 edition of LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER censored again on Sky Comedy, broadcast at 21:45 on Monday 26th Feb 2024?!

 

Approximately 20-minutes in to the episode, or about six minutes into the second-half of the episode, John says...

 

"and that's when we start turning to Step 2, and turning the conversation towards money" (or words to that effect)

 

...and then the episode is quickly faded-out to black, then faded-in again, when he goes on to say...

 

"even then there's a smart twist..."

 

Something has clearly been cut or edited out, and I’m NOT best pleased that an adult-oriented, topical comedy news show, airing well after the watershed is being censored yet again by Sky, after the debacle over censorship of this show a year or two ago, over jokes dealing with the deaths of members of the royal family.

 

I expect better from Sky.

 

So does anyone know what was cut or why?


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JonD1492
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This message was authored by JonD1492 This message was authored by: JonD1492 Answer

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

If it's for a genuinely valid reason, then that's fair enough.  If it's simply because Sky doesn't think adults can cope with a "joke", then no, that's not an acceptable reason.  Sky needs to stop treating adult viewers like morons.  And yes, before people come back and say I have free choice to pay or not to pay for Sky, that may be so, but it doesn't excuse cutting something without just cause.

 

ADDENDUM:  Okay, I can now formally confirm, that Sky basically fouled-up with the editing.  There was some technical glitch that tried to automatically insert an ad-break into the programme, where it shouldn't have done, and that caused the fade-out/fade-in issue.  No programme content was edited or removed or censored, and I've confirmed this with HBO themselves who sent me proof.  Why Sky didn't notice this technical issue before the broadcast, I don't know, but c'est la vie.  (The USA edit of the episode, is seemless and smooth, and has no breaks/alterations in that part of the episode - intentional or otherwise!)

As such, this thread can now be closed.  Thanks to everyone for their help.  Let's hope Sky do better, and make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

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This message was authored by Mark39 This message was authored by: Mark39

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Posted by a Superuser, not a Sky employee. Find out more

Sky's Viewer Relations are the people to speak to.

 

https://www.sky.com/help/articles/how-to-make-a-complaint

This message was authored by ftballman This message was authored by: ftballman

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

It was a weird untidy cut. I think previous edits have been because they dared to make a joke about the royal family.

Keep an eye out for the YouTube version to see what sky saved us from.

JonD1492
Topic Author
This message was authored by JonD1492 This message was authored by: JonD1492

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

@Mark39  Have already put in a complaint, and am now awaiting their response, though I doubt it'll be particularly detailed - but I’m happy to be proven otherwise.

 

@ftballman I did mention this exact point in my original post, so I'm not quite sure why you needed to repeat it.

 

(Removed) it's wholly unnecessary, and it treats adult viewers like children, which is NOT acceptable. Moreso when L.W.T is a well-established show and viewers know what to expect.

 

It also smacks of double-standards that this show is cut, despite airing later in the evening, yet SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE aired 24 hours previously, and had a hugely discriminatory term (the r-word, used to offensively describe disabled people) play-out uncut at 9:10pm on Sunday night on the same channel, as part of a comedy routine by Shane Gillis.

 

Moderator note: Removed campaigning comments

This message was authored by ftballman This message was authored by: ftballman

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Fair enough I've sure been told. Good luck to ya.

This message was authored by MarkGoldsmith This message was authored by: MarkGoldsmith

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Posted by a Superuser, not a Sky employee. Find out more

Don't forget this is a US show, which means John Oliver can freely make jokes about some things occuring in the UK, but any which violate ofcom regulations here can't be broadcast.

 

The sections on the death of the queen had to be removed for this reason last year. The same applies to edits in much older seasons on topics relating to UK politics during the election window/campaign season. Had to be removed as the content wouldn't have been fair and balanced and thus be in breach of regulations. 

 

 



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JonD1492
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This message was authored by JonD1492 This message was authored by: JonD1492

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

@MarkGoldsmith  Except that's not entirely true, Mark.

 

There's very little that you CAN'T say on UK TV under Ofcom broadcasting guidelines or standards, and most of the time it can only be adjudicated upon after broadcast.

 

The stuff that was cut in Season 9 about the royal family deaths, had nothing to do with the content being illegal or a breach of broadcasting guidelines. It was purely cut on the grounds of (supposed) taste and decency, because Sky wrongly thought the jokes were directly about the Queen and Prince Philip, when they weren't, and that UK audiences would probably find them offensive being broadcast so soon after their respective deaths, which most of L.W.T's viewers DIDN'T.

 

The actual jokes were NOT about the deaths, but about the TV coverage of the deaths, and almost certainly would not have broken Ofcom guidelines. Plus, Ofcom can only judge whether something is in breach, AFTER it is broadcast, not before, with almost no other exceptions. (The only one I know of, is if a broadcast could affect or impair a current legal trial, or would risk endangering UK security-wise, and thus Ofcom could then prevent a broadcast going ahead in that instance.)

 

The only part of your comment that is correct, was to do with the Brexit debate where John Oliver had an episode persuading UK viewers to NOT vote for Brexit, but it was broadcast later in the week, rather than before the vote took place, as broadcasting it before would have broken Ofcom rules.  But from what I recall, it wasn't actually cut, just delayed by three days.


There was also one episode that featured content taken directly from the Houses Of Commons and that footage could not be broadcast, as Parliament doesn't allow any broadcast footage to be aired unless it's for legitimate news reporting - which (rightly or wrongly) L.W.T. doesn't count as.

 

The only other episode that couldn't be broadcast in the UK for censorship reasons was "Stupid Watergate II", which had a segment on why Parliamentary footage couldn't be used for fair criticism in other shows/media outlets, but because the law states no Parliamentary footage can ever be used outside of strict news reporting, the segment had to be cut in full, as all the edits would've rendered it impossible to follow.

 

In that one instance, Oliver does a segment replaced with Gilbert Gottfried in front of a black curtain saying that the rest of the show can't be seen in the UK because of the law. Gottfried then reads a restaurant review. But that is the only actual time I can think of, when the show was forced to be cut for legal reasons, which Sky had no control over.

 

I’m not aware of any other episodes that have been cut on the grounds of their content being (or potentially being) illegal that would breach Ofcom regulations.

 

But none of this excuses Sky choosing to make an edit when it doesn't legally need to do so. Considering the content Sky can and does broadcast, cutting something in L.W.T., a comedy news discussion show aimed at broad minded adults, seems to be a truly dumb thing to do, that will only backfire on Sky.

This message was authored by ian9outof10 This message was authored by: ian9outof10

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

As far as I can tell, nothing was cut. I looked at the Sky version, and the HBO one, and nothing seems to have changed, it looks like maybe it was just a bad ad junction (even though there wasn't a break there).

JonD1492
Topic Author
This message was authored by JonD1492 This message was authored by: JonD1492

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

But the show is on HBO Max - a streaming service - so there would be no ad-breaks in the episode. And even when it was on HBO itself, the show was broadcast uninterrupted as a 35-minute episode with no ad-breaks in it.

 

So if what you say is true, that would be most odd, but I'm not convinced that that's the case here. It still feels like censorship, as if something has been cut deliberately.

 

I guess we'll find out in the next day or two, once news spreads online and American fans confirm what has happened.

This message was authored by ian9outof10 This message was authored by: ian9outof10

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Sorry, to explain. The Sky version has a fade out then in, but there's nothing missing. The US version continues without it, and the UK just has a dip to black for seemingly no reason. I've checked that segment in particular, and there is no difference between the two versions.

This message was authored by nolte This message was authored by: nolte

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Posted by a Superuser, not a Sky employee. Find out more

@ian9outof10 wrote:

As far as I can tell, nothing was cut. I looked at the Sky version, and the HBO one, and nothing seems to have changed, it looks like maybe it was just a bad ad junction (even though there wasn't a break there).


That makes sense.

 

So presumably, someone in sky went to edit in an ad break there but as at the end of the first segment already had an ad break, they cut it but didn't fix the programme so it appears something was cut when it wasn't. 

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This message was authored by Mark39 This message was authored by: Mark39

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Posted by a Superuser, not a Sky employee. Find out more

@JonD1492 Editorial prerogative, I guess. I see you've raised it with Viewer Relations where your concerns will no doubt be reviewed.

This message was authored by TimmyBGood This message was authored by: TimmyBGood

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Posted by a Superuser, not a Sky employee. Find out more

@JonD1492 wrote:

 It still feels like censorship, as if something has been cut deliberately.


Which any channel can choose to do if it sees fit.

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JonD1492
Topic Author
This message was authored by JonD1492 This message was authored by: JonD1492 Answer

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

If it's for a genuinely valid reason, then that's fair enough.  If it's simply because Sky doesn't think adults can cope with a "joke", then no, that's not an acceptable reason.  Sky needs to stop treating adult viewers like morons.  And yes, before people come back and say I have free choice to pay or not to pay for Sky, that may be so, but it doesn't excuse cutting something without just cause.

 

ADDENDUM:  Okay, I can now formally confirm, that Sky basically fouled-up with the editing.  There was some technical glitch that tried to automatically insert an ad-break into the programme, where it shouldn't have done, and that caused the fade-out/fade-in issue.  No programme content was edited or removed or censored, and I've confirmed this with HBO themselves who sent me proof.  Why Sky didn't notice this technical issue before the broadcast, I don't know, but c'est la vie.  (The USA edit of the episode, is seemless and smooth, and has no breaks/alterations in that part of the episode - intentional or otherwise!)

As such, this thread can now be closed.  Thanks to everyone for their help.  Let's hope Sky do better, and make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

This message was authored by SKY1992bf This message was authored by: SKY1992bf

Re: Sky Comedy Censoring Last Week Tonight…, AGAIN!

Posted by a Superuser, not a Sky employee. Find out more

@TimmyBGood wrote:

@JonD1492 wrote:

 It still feels like censorship, as if something has been cut deliberately.


Which any channel can choose to do if it sees fit.


Presumably to ensure any potential ofcom investigation is immediately stopped before it has a chance to start 


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