“MAD TV” BASHES CATHOLIC PRIEST
Catalyst June Issue 1998, Front Page
The April 25 edition of Fox’s “Mad TV” contained a skit about an Irish Catholic priest who visits a patient in the hospital. It intimated that the priest was a child molester and an alcoholic. It showed him grabbing the behind of the mother of the dying patient and repeatedly fondling the breasts of the patient. The patient called him “Father Fellatio” and remarked that it was clear that his “Crucifix swings both ways.” The skit ended with the statement, “To be continued.”
In a news release to the media, the Catholic League complained that “It is one thing to poke gentle fun at a priest, quite another to set him up as a depraved cleric. The language used was deplorable and it makes absolutely no difference to the Catholic League that it was a late-evening show: there is no legitimate time slot for Catholic bashing.”
Many media outlets picked up our story, the result being that Fox was forced to make a statement of its own. “We respect the Catholic League’s work to combat religious bias,” said Fox. “Comedies like ‘Mad TV’ use social satire to expose cultural stereotypes rather than to perpetuate them.”
Catholic League president William Donohue wrote to Fox chief Roger Ailes expressing his desire not to see a sequel to this episode. We are delighted to note that it didn’t appear in the May 2 edition.