British funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen has experienced an embarrassing censorship issue on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when TV bosses refused to show a clip from his new movie.
The comic was promoting action/adventure The Brothers Grimsby on the show when Kimmel informed him the teaser he’d brought had not been passed by the ABC’s standards and practices officials.
A red-faced Sacha asked, “This clip, the one we just got passed by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)?”
“They wanted to give us an NC-17 and we did a bit of back and fro and it’s now an R-rated clip, and your producers said it would be fine to show it.”
Kimmel explained, “Our network censor said we cannot run the clip.”
Cohen insisted he didn’t want to ruffle feathers at ABC and then led an audience chant of “Show us the clip!”
Kimmel returned after a commercial break and told his guest that the clip had been deemed “unacceptable for broadcast television” but that they could show it to the studio audience.
A clearly ticked off Baron Cohen said, “I’ve come on this show for the first time in 12 years and you’re going to show the audience… The people at home will not be able to watch the clip… It’s not OK, but it feels like I have no other option.”
Kimmel added, “I’ve been instructed to warn our studio audience … that the scenes you’re about to see are very graphic and potentially offensive. If you want to leave right now, you have the option of doing that.”
The host then assured the audience and TV viewers that the fuss wasn’t part of a comedy skit – he really couldn’t show the teaser.
The first 10 seconds of the clip appeared on a screen behind Sacha and then the cameras panned to the audience members, who laughed, shook their heads with disgust, and then tried to shield their eyes at the images before them.
Kimmel shook his guest’s hand after the clip and said, “That’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in my life.”