NBC’s levee broke and Kanye West flooded through with a tear about the federal response in New Orleans during the network’s live concert fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina last night.
“Tonight’s telecast was a live television event wrought with emotion,” parent company NBC Universal said in a statement issued to the Reporters Who Cover Television after the broadcast.
“Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person’s opinion.”
West’s comments would be cut from the West Coast feed, an NBC spokeswoman told The TV Column. (The Associated Press later reported that only his comment about the president was edited out.) The show was live on the East Coast with a several-second delay; someone with his finger on a button was keeping an ear peeled in case someone uttered an obscenity but did not realize that West had gone off-script, the spokeswoman said.
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