CBS FLIPS THE RIGHT WAY
Catalyst October Issue 1998
We weren’t sure what was going to happen. That is why we were as pleased as we were relieved when we learned that, in the end, CBS decided to flip-flop the right way by gutting an anti-Catholic remark.
A new CBS show, “The King of Queens,” premiered on September 21. We were anxious to find out if the show deleted an anti-Catholic line that had been inserted by a writer for the series. According to the television guide of the September 6-12 edition of the Washington Post, the pilot featured a dialogue in which the “King’s” father-in-law, played by Jerry Stiller, gives money to a priest (following a funeral) and tells him to “get himself a choir boy.” The article speculated whether or not the line would survive an editor’s pen.
When the show aired, the line in question was replaced. Here is how the dialogue went: “Thanks for everything, Padre. You did a great job. Here [he hands him the money], go get yourself an egg cream.”
It should be noted that the Chicago Daily Herald credited the change to the Catholic League. “Obviously,” the newspaper said, “CBS was more worried about alienating the Catholic League” than anything else. Smart move for CBS. We hope the other networks took note.