NBC censors pretty much let Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David get away with whatever they wanted on “Seinfeld.” One of the few exceptions was a proposed episode in which George got in trouble for observing, “You know, I have never seen a black person order a salad.”
Uh-uh, said NBC. An entire episode on masturbation? Fine by us. But there will no joking about the dietary habits of African-Americans on this show. The script was nixed, according to the New York Post.
Fast forward 15 years, and Tina Fey’s new comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” was rejected by NBC, which commissioned it. That turned out to be excellent news, because the show wound up on Netflix. Netflix doesn’t have a Standards and Practices division.
The networks’ inability to think outside of their cramped and fearful mindspace, in which the overarching concern is to refrain from being interesting lest the advertisers get spooked, is why they’re becoming as irrelevant as the VCR.