Jay Leno Faces Backlash — Including Potential Pressure on State Department — After Joke Offends Some Viewers

Jan 24, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Jay Leno has come under fire after some viewers were offended by a gag that appeared in Thursday’s broadcast of NBC’s "Tonight Show," reports The New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog.

A bit during Leno’s monologue showed what appeared to be a segment from "The Insider" that depicted the homes of the Republican presidential hopefuls. When Mitt Romney’s summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee was announced, the video instead showed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, which is a shrine and the spiritual center of the Sikh faith, the piece reports.

The joke drew an angry response from India’s Sikh community.

"It is quite unfortunate and quite objectionable that such a comment has been made after showing the Golden Temple," said overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi, according to the BBC. He said the Indian embassy intended to take up the issue with the U.S. State Department, the story adds.

A representative for "The Tonight Show" declined to comment, according to The Times.

Here’s the gag, while it lasts:


  1. Really? That’s it? That’s the big insult? They show a palace in a lame joke about Mitt Romney and it’s going to become an international incident? Oh please.
    I’m a PC as anyone, and I honestly don’t see the offense here. It’s a beautiful and enormous edifice that looks like it’s covered in gold. It’s SUPPOSED to get noticed, isn’t that the whole point?

  2. You’re kidding me……

  3. It’s NBC they always do or say something dumb!! does not surprize me 1 bit!!

  4. The dumb part for NBC and Leno is not to apologize immediately. Anyone can make a mistake. If this is insulting to their religion, I am sure Jay didn’t intend it to be. That is not his style. A simple apology costs nothing and could help to avoid this being used as a major publicity stunt which in the end makes everyone look bad.

  5. This is the insult????? You have to be kidding, they need to get a sense of humor.

  6. Does every comedian need to apologize for every joke he tells if he offends someone or their religion? That’s just ridicules, the Sikh need to get a sense of humor. It’s intent wasn’t even to offend them. The world is getting pathetic.

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