Linguistic Wrestling

Viewers in the Chicago area nearly missed the Oct. 1 debut of Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends on the Bravo network, but not due to a satellite glitch.
A Grey Entertainment print ad was supposed to run in the TV Week section of the Chicago Sun-Times on Sept. 26. But the newspaper rejected the ad because it featured the word “ass.”
The show stars BBC newsman Theroux, who unravels a strand of the American fringe each week. As the first show detailed Theroux’s foray into wrestling’s subculture, the ad called him a “bad-ass wrestler.”
Caroline Bock, Bravo senior vice president of marketing, said, “They said it was too edgy for their readers. The ad ran in about 40 major papers around the country. I could understand if it were in a small market, but Chicago?”
After negotiating, the Sun-Times agreed to run the ad on the scheduled date when Grey altered it to read “bad-***” wrestler, instead.
Michael Sperling, national account manager at Tribune Media Services (handler of Sun-Times advertising), did not return calls.
–Kathleen Sampey