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Project 21 Asks Kennedy Center to Rescind Fey Prize

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Project 21, which represents black conservatives, is asking the Kennedy Center to rescind Tina Fey's comedy prize, citing her own efforts, ultimately successful, to have four episodes of 30 Rock that included characters in black face removed from Hulu.

Fey received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2010, in part for her work in front of and behind the camera on what the center called her "award-winning, one-of-a-kind comedy series 30 Rock."

But Group 21 said that was a mistake because of the blackface incidents, one Fey's apology and efforts to correct confirm.

"We are not trying to cancel Tina Fey," said Project 21 member Horace Cooper. "Tina Fey cancelled herself when she asked Hulu to purge offensive episodes of 30 Rock, calling the fruits of her creativity 'ugliness.' We are simply alerting the Kennedy Center -- which has acted in the past to protect itself and the integrity of the Twain Prize -- to do so again in light of Tina Fey's admission."

That reference to past corrections was to the Kennedy Center's take-back of Bill Cosby's prize after his conviction on sexual assault charges.

"[W]e are asking you to make an immediate public statement announcing your intention to rescind Ms. Fey's Twain Prize and convene a meeting of the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees to effect that change at its earliest convenience," Project 21 wrote.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.