August 5, 2015
Comedy writer talks about being censored by the CBC — on the CBC, 25 years later
My old teacher at Sheridan, Jim Henshaw, writes a must-read:
Last October, I got to attend Mark Leiren-Young’s Southam lecture on “Comedy, Censorship & Sensitivity in the 21st Century” that dealt with all of these issues.
Despite his complete incompetence at predicting the outcome of hockey games, Mark is one of Canada’s funniest writers and winner of the 2009 Leacock medal for Humour. He’s also no stranger to having his work censored and attacked.
In 1991, CBC radio pulled a segment of his series “The Dim Sum Diaries” on the grounds that “it could be perceived to be racist.”
Not “was” but “could be” and “perceived to be”. After being roundly condemned as “Canada’s National Censor” in editorials, the network relented and broadcast the episode (although not on the full network. Something it still hasn’t done.)
But 25 years later, it appears the mothercorp might be starting to come around. Perhaps by realizing you can’t be both politically correct and relevant.
Tonight at 9:00 pm CBC Radio’s “Ideas” will broadcast Mark’s Southam lecture and an interview with the man himself.