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Why I Really Missed the Emmys

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EMMYS
AP

I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify something regarding last night's Emmy broadcast.

I did not attend the Emmys due to a long-standing commitment to Tony and Susan Bennett's Exploring the Arts benefit, which I had agreed to host several months ago. In the intervening time, the Emmy telecast was moved from its previous date in August to a new September date.

I chose to honor the commitment to Tony's great cause.

Prior to last night, the Emmy producers flew me to LA to shoot a pre-tape for the show with Jane Lynch.

In that routine, I made a joke about the News Corp. phone hacking scandal which the writers and producers had pre-approved before I made the trip. We shot the segment with the joke in. A couple of days later, I was informed that the producers had been told by some Fox entity that the joke had to be cut. I then asked that the entire piece be omitted, as I felt the joke was, perhaps, the funniest thing in it.

I did not boycott the Emmys due to that edit.

I suppose I am accustomed to a different experience, having worked on 30 Rock for so long, where we have been given the license to skewer the General Electric corporate culture without interference from GE. GE was nothing but gracious and even appreciative of the jokes.

However, in some sense, I understand News Corps.' reluctance to include that joke. If I were accused of illegally hacking into the private phone messages of the families of innocent crime victims and doing so purely for profit, I would be eager for that scandal to go away, too.

Congrats to all last night's winners.