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. MCO

    Guess I won't be flying Delta anytime soon.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  2. CosmicC

    The Daily Show is COMEDY. This is funny. Jeez, Delta & the Catholic Church, get a grip.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  3. mattmchugh

    Can't wait to see what he does with this on the show. " The Va gina Diatribes?" "VaJay-J.C. ?" "Delta Pulls Out?"

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with juxtaposing Jesus and a va gina. After all, they're both things I've spent years worshipping.

    - mm

    May 9, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  4. ObvUsername

    The 80% of the nation that is Christian (which is a dubious claim to begin with) are not offended – only the tiny fraction that are professionally obligated to offended by anything "liberals" say. Anyway, since when does the Catholic League claim to speak for all Christians? Catholic leadership hates non-Catholic Christians.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  5. Chaz Michael Michaels

    Oh and by the way delta is a bunch of little girls for letting Christians bully them around, when someone forces you to do something you dont want to do or against your beliefs they are bullying you...classic Christian...and if it was muslims complaining they would use violence like a true bully...Christians are passive agressive bullys...what cowards cry and cry till you get your way, heres a thought live your life and let everyone else live theirs without sticking you nose where it doesnt belong.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  6. Frequent Flyer

    Delta is a horrible airline, and I only fly them when they have the cheapest fare on a short flight. Terrible customer service, and always late flights. They should reinvest their advertising budget into customer service or more comfortable seats. Jet Blue is much better, and they also have a sense of humor, so I fly Jet Blue when I can.

    The Daily Show is probably the best thing on TV. I hope there aren't significant financial implications for them. Maybe they'll even get a sympathy bump.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  7. Hugo Habenero

    why won't the daily show use muslim images to do the same?

    May 9, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Because Muslims aren't trying to dictate political policy in this country. As soon as Muslims start trying to force into law what you can and can't do with your body, he will do the same.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Jim

      Maybe the Daily Show will–when Muslims are able to enact US laws to fit their religious beliefs.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • BRC

      How about when he sand "Go f- ck yourselves" to the terrorists who threatened comedians fo rusing muslim imagery, is that good enough for you?

      May 9, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Bob

      good point, BRC. You could say case closed, been done.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • ThatDCGuy

      If you will recall, During the Mohammed controversy, the Daily show tried but Viacom censored them. This set a pretty bad precedent that we are seeing the consequences of now. Now every bloody theism is taking up arms to protect image.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  8. George

    Pat F....You apparently dont know anything about our government. The amendments apply to the people not the government. Wow ppl amaze me at there ignorance.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Really?

      THERE ignorance? I think you mean THEIR....interesting

      May 9, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Pete

      George –

      What amazes me is how people leave grammatically incorrect statments about how ignorant others are that leave comments online. "Wow ppl amaze me at there ignorance." It is THEIR not there.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Pat F

      You are wrong, George. Sorry. The First Amendment says that CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW. That is, the government cannot abridge freedom of the press or religion. It does not say that Delta, a private company, has to leave its advertising where it does not want to leave it. Do five minutes of legal research, and you will discover that Bill of Rights claims require a governmental actor. I will not descend to criticize your grammer or spelling – I will assume that they are typos. And your bad manners are your parents' fault.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  9. Roger

    Yes, Delta,
    You've absolutely guaranteed my patronage to other airlines.
    Let us know if you get a spine and quit kow-towing to tyranny of the majority bully tactics.
    A year after that, maybe some of us will consider you again. For now, NO chance.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Jim

      How did you feel about the advertisers that left Rush Limbaugh over his comments about Sandra Fluke?

      May 9, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Walkthetalk

      Well, in contrast to some outrageous comments calling for boycott, but then excuse themselves for not cancelling due to the penalty fees, I did not only talk the talk, but got to walk the walk; so I just cancelled my booking with this morons and made sure they knew the reason why (anyway their service stinks)...hope more join and make a point that we're not in the middle ages...bunch of Delta retrogrades...

      May 9, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  10. cbus

    John Stuart could have done the same skit using a picture of the pope or Cardinal Dolan and it would have made the same point. But using a picture of the Holy Family crosses the line of humor and into hate. Catholics don't mind of you make fun of them. And we'll probably join in if you're poking fun at the hierarchy. But Jesus is off limits just like there are things that are off limits when it comes to poking fun at any group. It's as bad as using the N word or joking about the holocaust-both of which I would never condone.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Then you shouldn't be allowed to make fun of Moses ever. Hope you didn't laugh at the "History of the World" movie where he dropped the third stone tablet. Moses is a prophet to the Jews so it crosses the line pal!

      May 9, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • cbus

      Catholics are also pretty big fans of Moses. Besides Mel Brooks is Jew, so it's a little bit different. Plus I don't think he was being cruel. You can evoke Jesus in a humorous context without being offensive, but this was not the case in this skit.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Being offensive about Jesus is a good thing.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • mattmchugh

      You miss the point. Stewart wasn't mocking Jesus. He was mocking self-righteous prigs who wield Jesus like a weapon to condem anything that threatens their narrow-minded world view.

      He was mocking you... so, of course, you didn't think it was funny.


      May 9, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Catholics don't hold Moses in as high of a regard. Remember, people of the Jewish faith view Moses on the same level of Jesus. The point is, where do you draw the line and who is the one drawing it? Why should Jesus be off limits? I hear plenty of Catholics making fun of Joseph Smith on here. He is a pretty important guy in the Mormon faith.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • cbus

      Catholics would never put a picture of Moses in front of a naked woman's crotch. In fact I've never heard a Catholic making fun of Moses. He's held in very high esteem within the Church as a foreshadower of Christ. And most Catholic's don't know who Joesph Smith is. Actually, he's one of South Park's favorite whipping boys.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Maybe because putting Moses' picture next to a naked woman wouldn't make any sense in the context of the story he was talking about?
      Did you get offended when that cartoon used a picture of Muhammad and was cracking jokes about him?
      Please tell me where we draw the line. I just don't see what is so offensive. Why is Jesus off limits to crack jokes about? And that's another thing, the joke isn't even about Jesus.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • cbus

      Actually I was. While I am not a Muslim, I respect and love them as my brothers and sisters in faith. And given that Moses wrote a lot of laws dealing with s**, it would have made more sense to use a picture of him. But it would have be just as offensive.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  11. George

    Didnt Rush say something negative like this and u ppl had no problem when advertisers pulled from his show.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • momoya

      Rush called a respectable young woman a "w.h.o.r.e" because of the political position she held..

      I don't care what people say and what people do about it; it's a free system.. People can decide not to purchase products from a company because of somebody's comments or not.. Who cares?. It's my principles that side me against Rush's comments and with Stewart's.. Why should I be afraid to own that?. Fvck Rush; Yay Stewart.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  12. AGuest9

    Mmmm. Frosted Flakes.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  13. Chaz Michael Michaels

    Everyone who is all up-in-arms about John's joke needs to take a moment...i mean actually take a moment, and realize that either everything is ok to joke about or nothing is. He made a joke on television that if you were watching and saw it and it offended you then change the channel and never watch it again, simple as that problem solved. If the only reason you saw it was because of a clip online after reading of the supposed "outrage" than you have no place to saw its outrages, you made the choice to watch it and get offended, let go of your ego before it takes over.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  14. philtration

    Maybe the Catholic church can start focusing on their never ending pedophile problem now that they have fixed the rest of the world for us.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  15. sfeadmin

    Delta is the worst airline in the country! I wouldn't fly on Delta, regardless of where they advertise.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  16. ianroegels

    The people offended by this clearly do not watch the show. Jon Stewart doesn't preach hate speeches! Jon Stewart makes fun of his own religion and background ALL the time!

    Something amusing I thought of while reading this article and the comments.... Christians LOVE to point out that they're 80% of America. If you were to ask the average person how many stupid people there are in America, the average American would reply about 2-3 out of every 4 people you meet. (I don't base this on any statistics, but I've asked this question a lot myself, and that's the answer I generally receive from people.) That means that most people think that roughly 75% of America is stupid... and 80% of it is Christian..... just saying.......

    May 9, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • wizard of chaw

      Will the administrators of this blog please allow users to delete their own comments? Thank you.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  17. Thomas

    Yeah... Don't need Delta so much.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  18. pt6071


    May 9, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  19. xeno

    Last time I checked, we had freedom of speech. Any company that gives into any group seeking to obstruct that freedom is not a company I consider to support American ideals, and thus not a company I care to do business with. Not a huge loss. Delta is awful.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Pat F

      Check again, Xeno. The First Amendment applies to GOVERNMENTS, not to private companies. Delta is free to spend its advertising dollars any way it wants.

      Geez, don't they teach anything in school anymore?

      May 9, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • gfo

      FYI- we have free speech when there is a government actor. It is NOT absolute.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Xeno never says that these companies are under a legal obligation like the government, just that they don't support freedom of speech.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  20. JonStewartRocks

    I have a ticket for a Delta flight in a few months. I'd cancel it in a heartbeat, but I don't want to pay the cancellation fee....call me Jewish 🙂

    May 9, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Kevin

      Ok. You're Jewish.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • RillyKewl

      If you were Jewish, you'd have enough brains to figure out how to handle your cancellation without having to suffer the fees.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:26 am |
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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.