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Conan O’Brien takes the blame for slur

By Daily Herald - | Jul 24, 2001

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Conan O’Brien says it’s his fault that a racial slur aired on his late-night talk show.

O’Brien and NBC have been criticized for the July 11 episode, in which comedian Sarah Silverman used a racial epithet for people of Chinese descent.

The network said in a statement last week that airing the word “chink” was a mistake, but O’Brien apologized over the weekend during the Television Critics Association annual summer meeting.

“The ultimate responsibility to drop audio on something like that is mine. It’s my show, ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien,’ ” he said. “If I had to do it over again, I understand that word is offensive to people, it hurts people. I would say, ‘Let’s drop audio on it.’ “

O’Brien said he’ll be more vigilant about what his guests say from now on.

“We have a lot of different voices come on the show, we have a lot of really intelligent, bright people, and I’m very reluctant to edit people,” he said. “In this case, we clearly should have done that. To those people who got hurt hearing that word, I apologize.”

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A20.


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