Following a complaint about the use of a gay slur, Delta Air Lines has decided to pull the 2008 Chris Rock stand-up special Kill the Messenger. In a statement to Entertainment Weekly Wednesday, a Delta spokesperson said the company felt it had a mistake by ever making the stand-up special available on flights and apologized to customers.
"The Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger segment should not have been uploaded on flights based on our criteria for excluding onboard programming that includes content featuring explicit language, slurs, extreme violence, and explicit scenes," the spokesperson told EW. "We apologize to any customers who were offended by the content or our airing of the segment, and we are working as quickly as possible to remove it from our aircraft."
The special, Rock's fifth, originally premiered on HBO back in 2008 and went on to win two Emmy Awards. The segment in question (shown in the explicit clip above) centers on Rock discussing how important context is when declaring a word offensive or not, referencing the firing of Grey's Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington after reportedly using a homophobic slur against co-star T.R. Knight. The actor later apologized and eventually returned to the series in 2014.
"You gotta watch what you say," Rock says during the 2008 bit. "But here's the crazy thing, man, it's not about the words sometimes. It ain't about the words. All bad words ain't bad. Sometimes it's about the context in which the word is said." Rock then used "f*****" and the Grey's Anatomy firing to go deep on the topic of word context.
GayTravel reports the initial complaint was lodged by Jeremy Foreshew, a Grindr employee. "When you think of the number of people who fly Delta every day and have access to that language… it just shocked me," Foreshew said. Delta came under fire earlier this month after the company chose to censor the critically acclaimed film Carol, omitting all love scenes between stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.