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Aurora Shooting Joke to Be Cut From Roseanne Barr Roast, Jeffrey Ross Defends Offensive Speech

August 7, 2012 (3:31 am) GMT
Comedy Central confirms that Ross' lines which include references to the theater mass shooting will not be included in the edited version of 'Roast of Roseanne', which will air August 12.
Aurora Shooting Joke to Be Cut From Roseanne Barr Roast, Jeffrey Ross Defends Offensive Speech

While Jeffrey Ross prompted an audible gasp during the taping of Roseanne Barr roast with his joke about the Aurora shooting, Comedy Central makes sure it won't happen when viewers watch the show on TV. The cable channel has confirmed that the controversial joke will not be featured in the edited version of the roast which is set to air Sunday, August 12 at 10 P.M. ET/PT.

During the taping on Saturday, August 4, Ross who dressed as the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno turned to fellow roaster as saying, "Congratulations. This is actually a really big night for you. You haven't gotten this much attention since you shot all those people in Aurora." He was comparing Green's red hair to accused shooter James Holmes' locks.

Ross' speech was followed by a boo and awkward applause from audience, but he didn't stop there. "I'm kidding! You're not like James Holmes. At least he's doing something in a movie theater that people remember," the stand-up comedian continued.

To NBC News, Ross admitted he "crossed a line" with the Aurora shooting joke. Still, he argued that it "is what the roasts are about. That's what Roseanne is about -- unapologetic comedy. If I had held back, I would have done her a disservice."

Barr herself has defended Ross. Speaking backstage after the taping, she commented, "That crossed the line. But comedy is about moving the line... And where is the line in a country that has freedom of speech? Maybe there isn't one."

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