Canadian TV Censors: No Punching Elderly Women to Promote Joan Rivers Roast

Comedy Network criticized for airing 30-second promo featuring young men beating up elderly women


TORONTO -- There'll be no punching, kicking and tackling elderly women, even to promote a Comedy Central roast of Joan Rivers, a finger-wagging Canadian TV censor has ruled.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) said the local Comedy Network wrongly aired a promotional spot for The Roast of Joan Rivers from Comedy Central in September 2009 that portrayed young men beating up elderly women.

The 30-second promo featured a series of short scenes in which young men punch, kick and tackle elderly woman as they innocently perform everyday tasks.

The tag line in the promo was "No one wants to see an old lady get taken down. Until now."

The promo then advertised a roast for 76-year-old Joan Rivers, a veteran comic who has abused her share of A-list actors in her day.

Maybe so, but the Comedy Network should have found another way to promote the Joan Rivers roast, the CBSC said after responding to a viewer complaint over the promo.

"It was bad enough that the elderly women were beaten up, but having it done in each of the seven instances on a gender basis, that is to say, by men made the matter worse," the Canadian radio and TV taste-makers ruled.

The promo was wrong to glamorize violence against people based on both their age and their gender, the CBSC panel, which referees the Canadian airwaves as part of voluntary industry code of conducts, ruled.