On his April 5 CBS radio show, Penn Jillette commented on the rumor that Paris Hilton may play Mother Teresa in a movie. He said Mother Teresa “had this weird kink that I think was sexual” about seeing people suffer and die. He also said that “Paris Hilton is so far above Mother Teresa on the moral scale, she should not lower herself” to playing the saintly nun. After comparing Mother Teresa to Charles Manson, Jillette again said she “got her [sexual] kicks watching people suffer and die.” He concluded by saying, “Paris Hilton. You’re so much better than that. Don’t take the gig. Keep making good wholesome porno films. Just do that. Do what you’re cut out for. Don’t lower yourself to playing Mother Teresa.”
Subsequent to Jillette’s remarks, John London, a radio talk-show host on KIFR/San Francisco (a CBS station that carries Jillette’s show), said that he would offer “$5,000 to the person that kills Jillette” for his attack on Mother Teresa. He added that if Jillette “suffers, I’ll make it $7,000.” London, and his producer, Dennis Cruz, were then fired by the CBS management in New York.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“Last year, Penn Jillette referred to Mother Teresa on his Showtime TV show as ‘Mother F—ing Teresa.’ After I registered a complaint with Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom (which owns Showtime, as well as CBS), I was told about the merits of ‘artistic freedom’ and ‘tolerance.’ After Jillette’s latest attack, it is clear that such excuses are wholly unacceptable. It is up to CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander to fire him. His own record, which includes a vigorous defense of Howard Stern, is also in question. So this is an important moment for him as well.
“Contact Hollander at firstname.lastname@example.org and demand that CBS dump Jillette immediately. What Jillette said is outside the parameters of irreverent humor—it’s a malicious, obscene frontal assault on Mother Teresa and everything she stands for. And the culprit is a repeat offender, therefore meriting his termination.”