Express concern over Leno joke: UK MPs to govt
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 21:15
London: A resolution was introduced in the British Parliament on Thursday to ask the government to convey its concern to the US over NBC television anchor Jay Leno's "disrespectful" use of the Golden Temple's image on his show.

Indian origin MP Virendra Sharma and his fellow Labour Party lawmaker John McDonnell tabled a motion in the House of Commons, urging the David Cameron government to complain to the Obama administration about Leno's "disrespectful" use of the Golden Temple's image on his show.

Leno, the host of the popular "The Tonight Show" on NBC channel, earlier this week flashed a picture of the Golden Temple on his programme and termed it as a possible summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The motion wants the House to express "concern and regret that the depiction of the Golden Temple as a home of the rich showed a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith and was derogatory to Sikhs across the world".

It "calls on Jay Leno and NBC to apologise to all Sikhs for this disrespectful depiction of the Golden Temple; and further calls on the government to make representations to the US government that while recognising principles of freedom of speech there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith".

The US has defended Leno's right to free speech terming his comments as "satirical" while applauding contributions of Sikh-Americans.

"I think that Leno would be appreciative if we make the point that his comments are constitutionally protected in the United States under free speech, and frankly, they appeared to be satirical in nature," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had told reporters.


First Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 21:15

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