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Canadian Censors Bash Telenovela for N-Word Use

The CBSC stopped short of sanctioning Spanish-language channel TLN en Español for airing "El Cartel de Los Sapos" due to a split decision.

TORONTO – The Colombian telenovela El Cartel de Los Sapos has come under fire from Canadian TV censors for using the N-word.

But a split decision led the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) to stop short of sanctioning the Spanish-language series about drug cartel members after one character is called “el negro” and English sub-titles translate his name as the N-word.

Three CBSC panelists ruled the N-word, far from being Jay-Z cool, should not have been broadcast on Canadian cable channel TLN en Español, regardless of the context.

Another three adjudicators concluded a different translation was “advisable,” but that no age-old slur was intended with the English sub-titling done in Columbia.

“Because the panel was evenly split on the issue, TLN en Español was deemed not to have violated the (equitable portrayal) code,” the CBSC said in a statement.

The ruling followed a complaint being received after the offending episode El cartel de los sapos aired here.

The aggrieved TV viewer wrote “black man” represented a more accurate and appropriate translation than the derogatory N-word.