Comedians are reportedly up in arms over CNN’s alleged censorship of political jokes during the 2023 Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Comedy ceremony. According to sources, A-list comedians and actors who attended the event, including Chris Rock, David Spade, Luis Guzman, and Rob Schneider, had their political jokes removed by the broadcast network.
The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize is usually picked up by PBS, but for some unknown reason, CNN was granted broadcasting rights this year. Despite having a much larger audience, the news network has been accused of censoring the event to avoid offending anyone.
PageSix reported that Chris Rock had planned a joke about Donald Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, but was told to remove it by CNN. Meanwhile, Dana Carvey’s impersonation of Trump was also said to have been axed, along with David Spade’s satirical piece on the “woke” police.
Despite the Kennedy Center’s insistence that they were the “sole decision-makers” for the content of the live show and broadcast, many stars at the event were reportedly skeptical. This raises the question of whether or not CNN is attempting to use their larger platform to silence comedians who disagree with their political views.
In a time when free speech is under attack, it is important that we defend the right of comedians to express their political opinions. While it may not always be comfortable, humor is a vital tool for social commentary, and it should not be silenced by the media. We call on CNN to uphold the values of free speech and allow comedians to exercise their right to speak their minds.