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AT&T Responds To Pearl Jam’s Accusations of Censorship

Pearl Jam performed a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” at Lollapalooza on Sunday, including the following substitute lyrics:

Fans tuning in to the show via AT&T’s “Blue Room” webcast didn’t hear most of that segment of the performance, because the sound cut out after Vedder sang the first line for the first time. Pearl Jam (or a representative of the band) accused AT&T of having censored those lines in a strongly-worded statement on its website, claiming,

“AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns overthe power that corporations have when it comes to determining what thepublic sees and hears through communications media.”

However, a representative of AT&T claims the company did not intend to censor those lines, but that a third-party webcasting vendor overstepped AT&T’s profanity rules by removing them.

“The editing of the Pearl Jam performance on Sunday night was not intended, but rather a mistake by a webcast vendor and contrary to our policy. We have policies in place with respect to editing excessive profanity, but AT&T does not edit or censor performances. We have that policy in place because the blue room is not age-restricted.

“We regret the mistake and are trying to work with the band to post the song in its entirety.”

Whatever happened to George Carlin’s “seven words you can’t say on television” (NSFW text here). Has “George Bush” somehow worked its way onto the list?

(image from genevievecarbery)

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