Jay Leno’s now-infamous Mitt Romney joke has spurred a lawsuit, formal complaints, hurt feelings, an avalanche of commentary and, today, a motion in the British Parliament. Last week, Leno performed a Tonight Show bit that showed a photo of a building cited as “Mitt Romney’s summer home.” In reality, it was an image of the Sikh holy shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. On Tuesday, Leno and NBC were sued for libel in California over the matter, and now British Labour Party lawmakers Virendra Shrama and John McDonnell are seeking an apology from Leno and NBC to all Sikhs “for this disrespectful depiction of the Golden Temple.” The MPs are also calling for Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to “make representations to the U.S. government that while recognising principles of freedom of speech there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith.” The full motion:
That this House notes with concern the sketch on the NBC Jay Leno Show where the most sacred Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, was disrespected by Jay Leno when it was referred to as GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s summer home; expresses concern and regret that this depiction of the Golden Temple as a home of the rich shows a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith and is derogatory to Sikhs across the world; believes that these comments are not acceptable to all those who believe in respect for all religions; 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.
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