Comcast Voice-Remote Rejects "Dick Van Dyke" Search: "I Cannot Handle That Type of Language"

The state-of-the-art Xfinity X1 Voice Remote got snippy when users asked it to play episodes of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.'
CBS/Photofest

Comcast's Xfinity X1 Voice Remote is supposed to be state-of-the-art cable TV tech, allowing subscribers to speak relatively complex commands to the cable box. Not only can you ask it to fast-forward, pause and rewind, it can also answer tougher questions ("What's that song on the soundtrack?") and scour the cable guide for specific movies and shows. It’s also award-winning, scoring a 2017 Red Dot Design Award from the international design competition.

But there is one glitch.

Two users have confirmed to THR that the remote gets snippy when asked to play episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show. "Sorry, I cannot handle commands with that type of language," it responds. Commands for "Dick Van Dyke" are now able to be completed after the problem was discovered, according to an Xfinity spokesperson: "We want to provide our customers with a best-in-class voice control experience that is also safe and appropriate for every member of the family. Last month alone, our customers issued 700 million voice commands, and when issues like this arise, we work to address them quickly."

No word yet on other, ahem, top titles like Dick Tracy, Moby Dick, Fun With Dick and Jane

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.