NBC Backtracks, Apologizes for Banning Obvious Child Trailer Because It Had the Word ‘Abortion’ In It

obvious child

Comedic gem Jenny Slate — whom you may recognize as Jean-Ralphio’s sister Mona Lisa from Parks and Rec — plays the protagonist to Gaby Hoffman’s BFF — whom you may recognize as Adam’s sister Caroline from Girls — in this summer’s hottest indie abortion rom-com Obvious Child.

Yes, it’s being called “The Abortion Movie” and “The Abortion Rom-Com” we’ve all been waiting for. Because, unlike the Knocked Ups and Junos of our teenhood, Obvious Child stars a flailing twenty-something who gets pregnant after a one-night-stand and makes the thoughtful, complex, emotional, but not traumatizing decision to get an abortion. It’s received critical acclaim for both its honesty and its humor.

Unfortunately, when the film went looking for an ad spot on NBC, the trailer landed on the wrong Bible-thumper’s staffer’s desk. Someone on the digital ad team rejected the trailer because it had the word “abortion” in it, which was deemed to be “inappropriate” for network audiences. This staffer provided further “feedback” saying the trailer could be considered for a digital ad spot, if they cut the offending word. From a trailer for a movie about abortion.

Perhaps they should have followed delicate flower Judd Apatow’s example and used the term “shmashmortion” to refer to the perfectly legal practice of a woman governing her own body.

Planned Parenthood — which is where Jenny Slate’s character seeks out her shmashmortion in the movie — sponsored a petition last night directed at NBCUniversal CEO Stephen B. Burke, which gathered upwards of 13,000 signatures. The petition read in part:

Three in ten women will have an abortion by age 45. And the vast majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion. If NBC, is censoring the use of the word “abortion,” then the network is refusing to even take part in a conversation, let alone an honest one that accurately reflects women’s lives.

Lena Dunham and other celebs signed and tried to drum up support using the hashtag #StoptheStigma.

This morning, NBC acknowledged that the ad ban was a mistake based on the personal views of one staffer, and admitted that it was not policy to censor all use of the word “abortion”:

NBCUniversal has no policy against accepting ads that include the word “abortion.” Several ad proposals for “Obvious Child” were submitted to our television broadcast standards group for review, and, consistent with NBCUniversal policy and practice, no direction was given to remove references to the word “abortion.” Ultimately, no final ad was submitted or purchased for television broadcast.

Separately, an online ad was submitted for digital placement and feedback was mistakenly given to remove the word “abortion.” That is not company policy and we are currently reviewing our ad standards processes to ensure they are consistent across all platforms moving forward.

Our digital platforms will submit the ad as it was originally submitted.

You can check out the highly inappropriate, brutally offensive trailer for this sweet, quirky rom-com below.

[h/t The Daily Beast]

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