Is Time Warner getting into the censorship business? A host of Showtime at the Apollo claims he got the hook for angering top brass at the media megaconglomerate with jokes about President George W. Bush.
Comic Paul Mooney (most recently of Chappelle’s Show) was midway through a taping of the famed Harlem theater’s weekly variety show when the plug was abruptly pulled. Mooney claims the show’s producer, Suzanne de Passe, told him material in his monologue had offended unnamed officials from Time Warner, whose chairman, Richard Parsons, heads the Apollo Theater Foundation’s board of directors and is among the country’s most prominent black Republicans. De Passe was traveling and unreachable for comment, but a Time Warner spokeswoman called the story “ridiculous.” “It’s absolutely untrue” that the company had anything to do with the incident, she says, noting that Parsons was out of the country at the time.
Mooney, however, seems certain who shut him down. “They wanted me out of there, the Republicans, the Time Warner people,” he says. “They said I was Bush bashing, and it was hatred. I felt like I was in Iran or Cuba or somewhere.”