Kanal K

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Date: 1989

Region: South America

Subject: Religion

Medium: Television


Artist: Telefe network

Confronting Bodies: Pedro Simoncini and Bishop Desiderio Collino

Dates of Action: 1989

Location: Argentina

Description of Artwork: Kanal K is a television comedy with puppets performing parodies of political and religious figures. The specific episode that sparked controversy was one in which a puppet of Pope John Paul II used foul language, specifically "va fangullo" ('fuck you' in Italian).

The Incident: Pedro Simoncini, president of Telefe in Argentina, the network on which the program Kanal K was aired, was offended by this incident. He received complaints from many people, including a letter from Bishop Desiderio Collino expressing outrage at the sacrilege.

Results of Incident: The network was forced to pay over a million dollars in fines. Simoncini had the show taken off the air. He took various measures to publicly express his surprise and dismay over the incident, including apologies to the Catholic Church and to the viewing public.

Source: Leon Ferrari