What was apparently meant as a throwaway gag on NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has snowballed into one of the biggest TV controversies of 2012, sparking global protests, cross-cultural tensions, at least one lawsuit and a response from the U.S. government.
Now another government has become involved, with the British Parliament taking up a motion in response to the bit, Deadline.com reports.
The joke was meant to be at Mitt Romney’s expense, showing a picture of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and calling it Romney’s “summer home.” But the use of the image of a shrine that is holy to Sikhs worldwide caused some to be offended.
The story reports: “On Tuesday, Leno and NBC were sued for libel in California over the matter, and now British Labour Party lawmakers Virendra Shrama and John McDonnell are seeking an apology from Leno and NBC to all Sikhs ‘for this disrespectful depiction of the Golden Temple.’ The MPs are also calling for Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to ‘make representations to the U.S. government that while recognising principles of freedom of speech there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith.”
The original gag, which aired Thursday, Jan. 19, can be seen by clicking here.