'Kill the Messenger' will be removed from the in-flight entertainment offerings

By Oliver Gettell
August 24, 2016 at 10:59 PM EDT
David LaChapelle

Delta Air Lines is pulling Chris Rock’s 2008 stand-up special Kill the Messenger from its in-flight entertainment offerings in response to a complaint about the comedian’s use of an anti-gay slur in his routine.

“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 airline said in a statement to 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. Our commitment to inclusion and respect of all customers is rooted in Delta’s values and culture, and we proudly embrace diverse people, thinking and styles.”

According to GayTravel.com, which first reported the news, the complaint was lodged by Jeremy Foreshew, an employee for the gay social-networking app Grindr. Foreshew called out a scene in the HBO special in which Rock contemplates when it’s appropriate to use the word “f—-t.” (The scene, which contains explicit language, is viewable on YouTube.)

“When you think of the number of people who fly Delta every day and have access to that language … it just shocked me,” Foreshew told GayTravel.com.

Representatives for Rock and HBO did not provide immediate comment.

The Kill the Messenger incident comes on the heels of Delta facing criticism earlier this month for screening an edited version of the lesbian romance Carol that omitted all the same-sex love scenes, including kissing.

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