John Oliver’s 15-minute explanation of the EU Referendum on Last Week Tonight went viral this week, with over 3.3 million views on YouTube alone.
“It is perfectly understandable to be annoyed at Europe, I’m barely containing my anger right now. It’s a complicated, bureaucratic, ambitious, overbearing, inspirational and consistently irritating institution and Britain would be absolutely crazy to leave it,” he said.
But despite having a huge online audience, the comedian’s argument for staying in the EU won’t actually be shown on British TV until the Referendum has taken place. The episode was originally broadcast on HBO in America, and was meant to be shown last night on British channel Sky Atlantic – but instead, it was pulled from the schedules.
— Chris Hardiman ☕???????????????? (@AJoyForever83) June 20, 2016
Why is @LastWeekTonight with John Oliver not on Sky Atlantic this week, when this is the most relevant episode to UK.
— Kyle Fitzpatrick (@Kjfitzdude) June 20, 2016
In a statement to RadioTimes.com, Sky said that the episode couldn’t be shown due to broadcasting regulations.
“Sky have complied with the Ofcom broadcasting restrictions at times of elections and referendums that prohibit us showing this section of the programme at this moment in time. We will be able to show it once the polls have closed on Thursday.”
Ofcom guidelines dictate that there must be a a balanced view in the run-up to elections and referendums – so if Oliver expresses anti-Brexit views, his opinion must be challenged in some way on the show.
Those rules don’t apply on the internet, so that’s why the clip has gone viral – and why you’re still able to enjoy this glory…