University Television fired two producers and canceled a show yesterday because the program's premiere broadcast was "offensive and blatantly dehumanizing," station officials said last night. Also during the broadcast, the hosts telephoned freshmen women, whom they identified on the air, pictured in The Freshman Record. When the women answered the calls, the producers tried to set them up on dates. They also exhibited photos of nude women from D-Cup magazine and nude men from Playgirl. The UTV Executive Committee statement last night apologized for the content of the show and said that no committee members knew of the show's content before the producers aired it Tuesday night. Almost none of the executive committee watched the 45-minute when it was initially aried. After viewing the program during a special meeting last night, the board decided to fire the two producers. The producers, College senior Richard Rothstein and Wharton senior Vincent Fumo, defended the show last night, saying that people overreacted to their humor and that they ran a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to warn viewers about the program's content. Pig Penn drew criticism from viewers who said it degraded women and lacked taste. And an administrator said that officials will investigate whether the producers violated University policy on the show. Last year, Rothstein and Fumo produced another controversial show, Penn Lifestyles with Rich and Randy, which came under fire for using ethnic slurs and a stereotypical portrayal of Italians. The two refused to apologize and no disciplinary action was taken. Fumo and Rothstein criticized the board for their actions, saying that the four committee members did not listen to their side of the story and did not consider the views of those who thought the show was funny. "There's a woman who lives on my floor who left a note on my door saying she thought it was funny," Rothstein said last night. Assistant to the President William Epstein, who had not heard about the show's content, said last night that the University would investigate whether the show violated University policies. "If it's a question of University facilities being used for behavior that goes beyond what the community as a whole agrees is respectful, then there's something we'd have to look into," Epstein said. College senior Emily Nichols, who said last night that she watched the show because of a friend's prodding, called the show's content graphic, vulgar and crude. "It was just sick," Nichols said. "There was a discussion -- 'If your girlfriend won't do oral sex, what good is she anyway?' " Nichols said. While on the air, the hosts drank several shots of tequila. Nichols said that by the end of the show, one of the hosts was visibly drunk. Engineering sophomore Tom Yannone said last night that the pictures of the nude women were "degrading to women," but he only stopped watching the show when the hosts started showing pictures of nude males. "When they pulled out this Playgirl, I said, 'I gotta go. I have to do homework,' " Yannone said. "The show was kind of dragging and it was kind of stupid." He added last night that most of his friends did not see the show. "If I didn't watch 10 hours of TV a day, I wouldn't have watched it either," the Engineering sophomore said.Comments powered by Disqus
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