Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Comedian Tim Allen has run afoul of the censorship squad at ABC TV again, telling “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno that the network has made “politically correct … the mode for me.”
This time, Allen said, the network clamped down on what he could and couldn’t say about race in the Nov. 16 episode of his program “Last Man Standing.”
“Tomorrow night’s episode is about race, and it’s like we went back to the ’80s – what we can and cannot say on the network,” Allen told Leno. “They say, ‘That’s too offensive, you come off this way and that way.’”
Earlier in the interview he confessed, “Politically correct has really been the mode for me because we, they’ve moved ‘Last Man Standing’ to, we finally got a night on Friday. And we’ve had, for some reason, we’ve had a good amount of success with it. And now we have standards and practice.”
As WND reported, ABC clamped down on the Nov. 2 season premiere of “Last Man Standing” as well, stomping on the script for calling the president a communist.
“[Executive producer Tim] Doyle and Allen did have to fight the network and studio on some content,” TV Guide originally reported. “Specifically, Allen says the standards department took issue with his character calling Obama a communist.
“Allen fought to keep that in – noting he finds it funny when conservatives paint the president with that label,” the report continued, “but it appears he lost that battle, as none of the references made the final cut.”
TV Guide reports that Allen, a rare Republican in Hollywood who helped GOP presidential candidate John McCain raise funds in the 2008 election, off the air leans “slightly right of center.” On the air, Allen plays “Mike Baxter,” a feisty conservative character that Allen has likened to a modern-day Archie Bunker.
Though the “communist” line got axed from the Nov. 2 episode of the show, Allen’s character was permitted to speak this zinger: “Democrats love spending other people’s money. Free health care for everybody … Whoopee! Now lazy people can go around licking doorknobs.”
Allen claims another line, in which he compared Bill and Hillary Clinton to a disease – “They’re like shingles; just when you think they are gone, they pop back up” – also got censored by ABC.
Similarly, though the comedian complained to Leno of being censored in the Nov. 16 episode, a sneak preview from ABC shows some of his character’s comments on race made it into the show.
When his family worries that the new black family that has moved into the neighborhood will think their car was egged by racists, “Mike” quips back, “Vandalism happens to everybody, guys. Why is it if you’re black or gay or a midget you think stuff happens to you just because you’re black or gay or a midget? Maybe they’re just jerks!”
“Last Man Standing” airs on Friday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern 7 p.m. Central.