Delta pulls 'Daily Show' ads over 'vagina manger' skit
A Jon Stewart skit that referenced "vagina mangers" has angered a conservative Catholic group.
May 8th, 2012
05:12 PM ET

Delta pulls 'Daily Show' ads over 'vagina manger' skit

By Dan Gilgoff and Dave Alsup, CNN

(CNN) - Delta Air Lines has pulled its advertising from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” over a skit in which Stewart featured a picture of a manger in between a naked woman’s legs, the company said Tuesday.

In the April skit, Stewart jokingly encouraged women to use “vagina mangers” to “protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusions.”

In a statement Tuesday, Delta Air Lines spokesperson Leslie Parker said that “We're always re-evaluating our advertising opportunities and updating our strategy in an effort to reach our desired audience.”

“Delta doesn't discriminate nor do we condone discrimination in regard to age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or gender,” Parker’s statement continued. She said that Delta made the decision to pull its ads on Thursday.

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The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, a conservative group that has waged a weeks-long campaign pressuring Stewart to apologize for the skit, had pressured Delta and other Comedy Central advertisers to pull their Daily Show ads.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue has encouraged a boycott of Kellogg’s because it has declined to pull its spots.

On Tuesday, Donohue announced that he’d sent a letter to the leadership at Viacom, the corporate parent of Comedy Central, which airs “The Daily Show.”

“You should be as offended as we are,” the letter said. “But if you are not, consider a picture of your own mother inserted there instead. Perhaps you now understand how the 80% of the nation that is Christian feel.”

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“What Stewart did wasn’t a joke,” Donohue’s letter continued. “It was hate speech. We could have pressed for him to be fired, but we did not. All we want is an apology.”

Media representatives at Comedy Central did not immediately respond to a request for comment. At a stand-up appearance in Florida last month, Stewart acknowledged the Catholic League’s campaign against him, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance," Stewart said, decrying what he called the cable news-fueled “outrage machine.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • TV

soundoff (2,495 Responses)
  1. Aristocles

    I knew Stewart would go too far one of these days, and now he has. He's an anti-Catholic bigot, he is. Would he dare to do that to any other religion or denomination? No. Stewart can say what he wants to, but he shouldn't expect to get sponsors for it.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Twisty Turny

      Are you kidding? This is GREAT for Stewart! You think that this is bad for a comedian who thrives on controversy? The writer who came up with it probably got a bonus and a luxury trip to Tahiti for it.

      Delta just plain blew it. Corporations have long known that getting involved in these controversies is always damaging. 50% of those who pay attention now hate you (kind of the opposite of what advertising is all about), and the ones who like you won't make up the difference. The smart ones know you just ignore it.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • PageWraith

      Gone to far?????? grow up. IT WAS A JOKE!!!!!!! Feel free to not like it, that's what this country is about. Stop making it your cause for the month.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Lump

      I have to disagree with the first – I find that people who use a lot of adjectives in their comments are too emotional to take seriously anyway – but, well, yeah. Exactly. He does say what he wants to, and I'm pretty sure his first concern is not getting sponsors. That's why he's popular. He is the only talking head I can really count on to get to the heart of the issue, not pander to the power holders, and be reasonable. And he's hilarious.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Regis990

      Actually, The Daily Shows rails on pretty much every religion...AND non-believers as well.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Alyssa

      Jon Stewart rails against stupidity and hypocrisy. It's not his fault that the Catholic church gives him so much material.

      May 9, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  2. TT

    I love Jon Stewart and all but, I just don't get the joke.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  3. Michael

    I don't ever remember seeing a Delta Airlines commercial during the Daily Show so I can't see how this is punitive in any way. Perhaps they advertise during other Viacom content. The bit in question certainly was tacky and personally, it didn't work for me. With (almost) daily comedy shows they're going to do some dumb bits. This was one of them. It won't stop me from watching.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  4. WillB

    The Catholic Church needs to clean house (it's own) first, then it can worry about less important things.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Tom

      Sorry to disagree with you. This was very distasteful skit whether you are religious or not. Stewart is an idiot.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Regis990

      Actually, Tom, the piece was brilliant. It showed just how hypocritical religion and the right wing can be. Of course, if you don't like people poking holes in your beliefs, then...yeah...you probably wouldn't like the piece.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  5. Twisty Turny

    Delta pulls out of Jon Stewart.

    I'm sure Delta will miss the old magic and give Jon a booty call one of these nights, and they will be back together.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  6. Sortakinda

    Stewart wouldn't dare get edgy with MLK or any other revered icon. Ignorant? One definition might be a person who thinks he can out smart targets of his abuse and get that group totally on board with him.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • PageWraith

      I'm Catholic and it was a joke! A JOKE!!!!! and to be honest, you have to much time on your hands if this became your focus of the month.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Regis990

      "Outsmart" is one word, not two.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Sortakinda

      Regis, I outsmarted you if that is all you have to say. PageWraith, just how dedicated of a Catholic would you say you are? BTW I often find Stewart funny, but not this time.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • valdon

      sortakinda is kindasorta not too with it if he thinks he outsmarted anyone! LOL.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  7. joneb

    Definitely boycott Delta.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom

      Do't think so.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  8. Jack

    Its time to tax these religious bigots.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  9. trumod

    Delta shouldn't have bothered to pull their ads: those cheap-a$$ Evangelicals fly Southwest.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Twisty Turny

      This atheist will take Southwest any day. You like paying more for bad service? How much did your bags cost last time you flew.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  10. Carlos

    In all fairness the Catholic Church should be much less hypocritical of Jon Stewart's jokes
    and pay more attention to their own child molesters.
    If Delta wants to boycott free-speech, that's what they call Rush Limbaugh's show, let them do it...see how many
    catholics will come to their rescue.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Sortakinda

      The John Jay College study on abuse by priests during the years 1950 to 2002 reported 4 per cent of 109,000 priests were the subject of abuse complaints. Even one instance was intolerable. The total number of Catholic priests during that period represented three hundredths of one per cent of the population. A little over 4300 priests were the subject of abuse complaints or 1.4 thousandths of one per cent of the population. That equates to 14 priest abuse cases per million Americans. Those are the magnitudes. Shameful. But not as pervasive as some people would have liked.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • valdon

      Those numbers are far too "pervasive" for me. Even one is too much if it is not punished and erradicated. Suffer not the little children....

      May 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • valdon

      Those numbers are far too "pervasive" for me. Even one is too much if it is not punished and erradicated. Suffer not the little children.... and all

      May 10, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  11. Shalla

    Delta has the right to decide where to spend their money. I figure I have the right to contact them and tell them I find it offensive that The Catholic League attempted to speak for me, and that I hope they will reconsider their position and reinstate their ads during the Daily Show. In fact, I went to Delta's website and entered a complaint. I'd encourage others to (politely) let Delta know whether or not they agree with this decision.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Regis990

      Done and done, good advice. Everyone who is tired of religion sticking its nose into everything should go to Delta and complain.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  12. Donnie

    When does freedom from the religious start?

    May 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Regis990

      Unfortunately, until people stop believing in fairy tales...never.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  13. Syd

    Oh for cryin' out loud, Christians run the freakin' planet. You really need to get indignant about some infantile humor??? I know this will be lost on the fundamentalists for which it's meant, but that's EXACTLY THE PROBLEM with most religions! Well, that and the bigotry, hypocrisy, and history of murder and torture in the name of "Jesus' Love".

    May 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Regis990


      May 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  14. TAK

    "It was hate speech" says the catholic. Yeah, well your phony outrage against Stewart is antisemitism! (See how easy it is to make outrageous accusations? Now shut up... and stay away from little boys)

    May 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  15. Sean Aman

    I have over 800,000 Skymiles with Delta. My company has spent a lot of money for me to get these miles, and therefore I will use them all. I promise you though, that no new ticket will be purchased by my company for a Delta ticket as long as that route is serviced by another. Good thing Southwest has now started flying out of Atlanta too, so I see very little reason for me or any of my employees to fly on Delta anyway.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  16. Miranda

    I will boycott any sponser that pulls its ads from The Daily Show.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  17. physnchips

    I think the Catholics could use some orifice mangers for the alter boys.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  18. browerpowr

    The Catholic church condones child molester's rights and not women's rights, and that's exactly where I stop caring about what their upside-down church has to say.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Jason

      Awesome. Love it!

      May 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  19. Joe

    Where was the league when women were attacked by that gasbag Rush? The man was right, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone..." What ever happened to America being founded on the right to disagree? Stewart should be free to speak, and not subscribe to some Konkordat that Mr. DOnahue does.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  20. Canuck48

    So Delta is saying those who watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart are not their "desired audience". Well I watch Jon Stewart and I like it so guess i'll have to use a different Airline, I don't want to up set Delta......

    May 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.