John Oliver’s ‘Brexit’ Segment Wasn’t Aired In Great Britain Before The Recent EU Referendum Vote

The ‘Brexit’ has come to send us all into some sort of dark, apocalyptic future that will force mothers to eat their young and turn Donald Trump into some sort of baron of the wastes. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from the Twitter reactions of the entire thing. For most, it’s just a really dumb idea, something that was highlighted during the episode of Last Week Tonight before the vote was held on Thursday.

There’s just one problem with that message John Oliver was trying to send to the people in the UK. They never actually got to see it before voting. As is noted here on the Last Week Tonight Twitter account during the Scotland referendum vote, the show airs a day or so after the American premiere on SkyAtlantic:

The only problem here is that the show never aired. It was instead replaced with an episode of Veep and held off until later in the week. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Sky made this decision due to rules and regulations they had to follow:

A Sky spokesman cited rules set by U.K. media regulator Ofcom. Sky “complied with the Ofcom broadcasting restrictions at times of elections and referendums that prohibit us showing this section of the program at this moment in time,” he said.

The rules require balanced reporting and impartiality during elections and such. Observers said that the Last Week episode would have been fine to air if it had also made the case for the opposite argument in another part of the show.

Now as Deadline notes, newspapers are allowed to publish stories that do the opposite. That’s why they point out that Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun and Sunday Times ran stories that supported the Brexit referendum, while SkyAtlantic — also owned partially by Murdoch — couldn’t run the Oliver segment that was highly negative towards Brexit.

Also highly negative were the comments on the video after the Brexit vote went through. Some of the worst types you will find on the internet.

If anything, there isn’t really anything shady going on with this revelation. It’s just an unfortunate side effect of the types of regulations that can be pushed through and how they affect what people can watch on TV and online around the globe. At least people could’ve still pirated it. That or you can just say that people who would want to vote for Brexit don’t watch John Oliver anyway.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter / Deadline)