PENN & TELLER OFFEND; ABC IGNORES PLEA
Catalyst March Issue 2003
Just over a week before the Super Bowl, Penn & Teller, the famed magicians, performed an obscene anti-Christian act in Las Vegas. Because they were scheduled to do a short skit on ABC prior to the Super Bowl, William Donohue appealed to ABC Sports director Howard Katz requesting that he cancel the spot. Here is the text of Donohue’s letter:
Mr. Howard Katz
ABC Television Network
47 W. 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Dear Mr. Katz:
I am requesting that you cancel the scheduled performance of Penn & Teller during the pre-game segment of the Super Bowl. The reason I am making this request has to do with the incredibly anti-Christian statement made by these two men on January 16. In front of 400 persons at the World Magic Seminar held at the Las Vegas Riviera, a nearly-naked Teller appeared on stage dressed as Christ on a full-sized cross. Then a midget dressed as an angel performed a simulated sex act on him. Penn unveiled the scene by pulling away a “Shroud of Turin” that covered the cross.
It would be much appreciated if ABC Sports were to now say that such conduct will not be rewarded by ABC and that therefore the scheduled appearance of Penn & Teller at the Super Bowl has been cancelled.
Thank you for your consideration.
William A. Donohue, Ph.D.
Unfortunately, ABC allowed Penn & Teller to perform. While the skit they did was without offense, it is our belief that had the magicians used Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., instead of Christ, in their filthy Las Vegas act, there would have been a different outcome. The media, especially the Associated Press, pressed ABC on this issue. At least ABC was forced to respond, however irresponsible their decision was.