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OSCARCAST - Robin Williams already censored by ABC

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OSCARCAST - Robin Williams already censored by ABC

Old 02-26-05, 11:37 PM
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OSCARCAST - Robin Williams already censored by ABC

This article is appearing in tomorrow's (Feb 27) NY Times:



Cut From the Oscars: Cartoon Characters' Sins
By DAVID M. HALBFINGER

Published: February 27, 2005


LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 - ABC executives have forced Robin Williams to drop a comic song from the Oscars show that might well have proved one of the most political and racy numbers of the broadcast, despite the fact that the network and the show's host, Chris Rock, have been promoting the night as anything but tame.

Mr. Williams, the presenter of the Academy Award for best animated feature, decided last week that his one minute on stage would be a prime time to lampoon the conservative critic James C. Dobson, whose group Focus on the Family last month criticized the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants for appearing in a video about tolerance that the group called "pro-homosexual."

For a bit of material, Mr. Williams predictably turned to Marc Shaiman, the composer, whose oeuvre includes Oscar-night medleys for Billy Crystal and songs for shows like "Hairspray" and movies like "South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut".

Overnight, Mr. Shaiman and his partner, Scott Wittman, dashed off a mock exposť of the dark underbelly of cartoonland for Mr. Williams to deliver, over a gospel-music groove, as if he were a full-throated preacher inveighing against other newly-discovered sinners in the nation's midst:

"Pinocchio's had his nose done! Sleeping Beauty is popping pills!/ The Three Little Pigs ain't kosher! Betty Boop works Beverly Hills!"

The producer of the Oscars telecast, Gil Cates, urged Mr. Shaiman to make the bit "less political," Mr. Shaiman said, so he quickly removed any reference to Mr. Dobson's protests - and turned Mr. Williams into a fabulous, lisping character dishing up the latest juicy gossip:

"Fred Flintstone is dyslexic, Jessica Rabbit is really a man, Olive Oyl is really anorexic, and Casper is in the Ku Klux Klan!"

Officials from ABC's broadcast standards and practices office were not pleased. On Thursday, they detailed their objections.

Some lines were opposed for "sexual tone," as the ABC officials, Susan Futterman and Olivia Cohen Cutler, put it to Mr. Williams, Mr. Shaiman and Mr. Cates. These lines included "Chip 'n Dale are both strippers," "Bugs Bunny's a sexaholic," and "Josie and the Pussycats dance on laps."

In the end, however, the sexual references would have been allowed, a network spokesman said. But they held the line on material that they believed might be seen as glorifying drug use or offending Native Americans or disabled people.

Among other lines, they included "The Road Runner's hooked on speed" and "Pocahontas is addicted to craps."


On Friday, faced with rewriting or killing as many as 11 lines out of a 36-line piece, Mr. Shaiman said, he and Mr. Wittman refused, and Mr. Williams had to look for new material.

Mr. Williams, interviewed at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, said he was disappointed.

"For a while you get mad, then you get over it," he said. "They're afraid of saying Olive Oyl is anorexic. It tells you about the state of humor. It's strange to think: how afraid are you?"

He added: "We thought that they got the irony of it. I guess not."



Sharon Waxman contributed reporting for this article.



Perhaps this should be in the political forum .....
Old 02-26-05, 11:46 PM
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Yeah, because there's nothing edgier than a Broadway-style musical number sung by Robin Williams.
Old 02-27-05, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Yeah, because there's nothing edgier than a Broadway-style musical number sung by Robin Williams.
Ever see his stand-up stuff?
Old 02-27-05, 12:23 AM
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I wonder how good rock will be considering he won't be able to swear or make *********** jokes?
Old 02-27-05, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by troystiffler
Ever see his stand-up stuff?
Yeah, from about 30 years ago. He's a joke now.
Old 02-27-05, 12:31 AM
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I would rather hear a song parody than listen to his unfunny stream-of-conciousness.
Old 02-27-05, 12:33 AM
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In the end, however, the sexual references would have been allowed, a network spokesman said. But they held the line on material that they believed might be seen as glorifying drug use or offending Native Americans or disabled people.


Good work, ABC! Way to protect Native Americans and disabled people. I'll sleep easier tonight.

das
Old 02-27-05, 12:34 AM
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Eh, their show, their call. I don't watch anyway, but this seems in line with them wanting to make the Oscars an upscale event.
Old 02-27-05, 12:58 AM
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I think the reason why ABC forced Robin Williams to change his song is not only because of tougher FCC enforcement, but also the fact ABC doesn't want to offend the very upscale advertisers that placed ads on the Oscar telecast.
Old 02-27-05, 01:33 AM
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Now if they can only cancel him completely and not offend my sense of humor. This guy was funny for about 3 seconds on Happy Days once, and we still can't entirely get rid of him.
Old 02-27-05, 01:16 PM
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Any censoring of Robin Williams is a good thing. I applaud ABC. Yes I am serious. I hate Robin Williams.
Old 02-27-05, 05:13 PM
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He got on my nerves on the Independent Film Awards last night. Jim Taylor who wrote Sideways and I guess produced it was trying to say something and Williams kept interrupting him I don't know how many times. Then Taylor said "I'm going to get this serious part out..." in a "you're funny but please shut up" way and then Robin said something like "well I'll just go..." all funny and everyone clapped.

Seriously, he can be funny but sometimes it is just TOO Much.
Old 02-27-05, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by conscience
and then Robin said something like "well I'll just go..." all funny and everyone clapped.
If you saw it on Bravo, he was probably bleeped. He said something to the effect of "I'll just go fuck off" or "I'll just go get the fuck off".
Old 02-27-05, 08:57 PM
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Ugh. Amateur night at the improv caliber performance there Robin.
Old 02-27-05, 09:07 PM
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So that's why he came out with tape over his mouth.
Old 02-27-05, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Yeah, from about 30 years ago. He's a joke now.
Strong agreement.

The oscars is pretty lame and tame - don't know what their ratings are, but if they want me to come back they'll have to change alot and getting rid of Robin Williams and providing more content that strays from the LCD (lowest common denominator) appeal are good starts.
Old 02-27-05, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by resinrats
Any censoring of Robin Williams is a good thing. I applaud ABC. Yes I am serious. I hate Robin Williams.
Are you kidding??? Didn't you see Toys?????








Yeah, he was funny long ago. I think his new animated show Robots will be one of the first tanks for the kiddie CDI movies.
Old 02-27-05, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RayChuang
I think the reason why ABC forced Robin Williams to change his song is not only because of tougher FCC enforcement, but also the fact ABC doesn't want to offend the very upscale advertisers that placed ads on the Oscar telecast.
How about the fact that he offends a bunch of Disney staples on a Disney owned station? That seems more likely to me. I enjoyed the nod to Pixar.

You guys have no funnybone. He may not be as brilliant as he once was, but I will take him anyday over hacks like Sandler, Jim Carey, and others of the past decade. At the rate he burns through material with his ADD pace, he has probably done enough comedy for 3-4 comedians lifetimes.

The 'gay/Birdcage' voice is overplayed though and he needs to drop that from any future routine.
Old 02-28-05, 12:28 AM
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He's so tired. He did plastic surgery jokes... and then they showed a clip of Carson doing a plastic surgery joke in the 70s. Ha!
Old 02-28-05, 01:03 PM
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His shit was so weak last night. When he did the Jack Nicholson impression, I wanted to shoot the T.V. I thought the deal was that if he got an Oscar for his serious stuff, he'd stop being such a fucking spaz.
Old 02-28-05, 01:39 PM
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I am SO over Robin Williams.
Old 02-28-05, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by THX7966
I am SO over Robin Williams.
[Ross from Friends] When were you.... under him? [/Ross from Friends]
Old 02-28-05, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bralph
[Ross from Friends] When were you.... under him? [/Ross from Friends]
Old 02-28-05, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Yeah, from about 30 years ago. He's a joke now.
Ya think so? I think he's still one of the funniest comedians out there. Who do you think is funny?

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