Sky U.K. Delays 'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' Episode With Brexit Rant
The pay TV giant's Sky Atlantic network typically shows the latest episode on Mondays, but will push it back to Thursday to comply with U.K. "restrictions at times of elections and referendums."
Pan-European pay TV giant Sky's Sky Atlantic network in the U.K. has delayed the air date of the latest episode of HBO's Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which included an extended anti-Brexit segment.
The company will air it Thursday evening after the polls close in Britain's referendum about whether to stay in the European Union or leave it. Sky Atlantic typically airs the political satire show on Mondays.
During the Last Week episode, which aired in the U.S. on Sunday evening, Oliver called the Brexit campaign “bullshit” and said that pro-Brexit former London mayor Boris Johnson had the “look and economic insight of Bamm-Bamm from The Flintstones." Oliver also said: “It’s hard for me to overstate how poisonous things have become in the U.K." Adding, "my homeland is on the edge of doing something absolutely insane."
A Sky spokesman cited rules set by U.K. media regulator Ofcom. Sky "complied with the Ofcom broadcasting restrictions at times of elections and referendums that prohibit us showing this section of the program at this moment in time," he said.
The rules require balanced reporting and impartiality during elections and such. Observers said that the Last Week episode would have been fine to air if it had also made the case for the opposite argument in another part of the show.
Instead of Last Week, Sky Atlantic aired an episode of HBO political comedy Veep on Monday night. Clips from the Oliver show are available on YouTube.
21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky.