General News

Rowan Atkinson comedy sketch cleared by U.K. watchdog chiefs

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Jul 01, 2013 | 1:53pm EDT

Broadcasting regulators in the U.K. have cleared BBC bosses of any wrongdoing after airing a controversial TV comedy skit by British actor Rowan Atkinson as part of a charity fundraiser in March (13). The Mr. Bean actor dressed up as the Archbishop of Canterbury in a funny sketch for the Comic Relief charity's Red Nose Day TV marathon, but drew more than 2,200 complaints from angry viewers for using coarse language and poking fun at religious issues. During the segment, Atkinson quipped, "Jesus said love your neighbours... but it doesn't mean s**g your neighbours" and he also compared boyband One Direction to the disciples of Jesus Christ and insisted praying "doesn't work". BBC executives quickly apologised for the bad language, insisting the star "did not mean to cause any offence" with his performance, as officials at British watchdog Ofcom launched an investigation over the complaints. However, Ofcom chiefs have since given the sketch the all clear after finding it did not breach U.K. broadcasting codes.

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