Jay Leno's Mitt Romney Joke Stokes Outrage in British Parliament

12:56 PM PST 01/26/2012 by Erin Carlson
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Labour party politicians filed a motion requesting "The Tonight Show" host and NBC apologize for suggesting the holy Golden Temple was the Republican presidential hopeful's summer home.

Jay Leno's joke about Mitt Rimney vacationing in an Indian holy temple continues to reverberate around the world.

During a recent episode of The Tonight Show, Leno mocked Romney's wealth, joking that that the shrine of the Golden Temple was the GOP contender's summer home.

The quip has spurred outrage from India to Los Angeles, where Dr. Randeep Dhillon, who runs a Punjabi religious organization, filed a lawsuit earlier this week against Leno and NBC, arguing that the late-night host had exposed all Sikh people to "hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy."

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Adding to the uproar, a pair of British parliament members have joined the anti-Leno protest, filing a motion to solicit an apology from Leno. In their argument, the Labour party's Virenda Sharma and John McDonnell said Leno's comment "shows a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith and is derogatory to Sikhs across the world" and was "not acceptable to all those who believe in respect for all religions."

Sharma and McDonnell requested A) apologies from Leno and NBC and B) that the British government "make representations to the US government that while recognising principles of freedom of speech there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith."

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Earlier this week, U.S. state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland defended Leno's joke, saying his freedom of speech was protected.

The host and network have yet to respond to requests for comment.

 

 

 

 

 

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