Rebuke for 'Obama assassination joke'

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Canada's public broadcaster has been criticised over a comedy skit that joked about the possible assassination of US president Barack Obama.

The "Bye Bye" comedy show, broadcast on the French-language Radio Canada network on New Year, also suggested the US president could be a thief.

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said on Monday the comments and sketches breached regulations and went "too far in terms of Canadian broadcast standards".

During a discussion on the show between the two hosts about Mr Obama's election victory, one said: "It will be good to have a Negro in the White House. It will be practical. Black on white, it will be easier to shoot him."

The show also featured an interview with an actor pretending to be Mr Obama during which one of the hosts declared: "The blacks, you all look alike," before warning viewers to hide their valuables.

When broadcast the shows attracted over 200 complaints. The producers defended the comments claiming they weren't racist and instead were meant to mock the characters making the offensive remarks.

The Canadian broadcasting watchdog, however, declared it had found "nothing redeeming in the allegedly comedic notion that an American president should be shot, still less that this would be easier to achieve because of the colour of the president's skin. It was a disturbing, wounding, abusive racial comment".
© Adfero Ltd
26 May 2009 10:26 GMT

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