The film features Slate as a Brooklyn comedian who gets pregnant during a one night stand and decides to have an abortion, out of Sundance, and has the word "abortion" featured prominently on its poster. The individual told TheWrap that three commercial spots were submitted to NBC on behalf of distributor A24 in early May, before any deal was signed for a purchase. The network allegedly responded that they could not run the ads so long as they contained the word in question, even though their guidelines are generally less strict after the 9 pm hour.
Citing the MPAA's approval of the spots, the individual told TheWrap that the marketers for the film asked NBC to reconsider, but the network declined to do so, asking instead for a clean 15 second spot. That ad is currently running on NBC's digital assets.
The network counters that its standards department gave guidance on an initial submission, but those suggestions had nothing to do with the word "abortion."
"No final spots were submitted to NBC broadcast standards for on-air consideration and NBC Broadcast Advertising Sales was never contacted about a media buy on NBC for spots related to this movie," the network told TheWrap. "Moreover, initial feedback from our broadcast standards group did not include any suggestion to remove a specific word."
Slate appeared on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" to promote the movie on Thursday night, and during the interview, Meyers was the one to say the word "abortion." Slate is also a recurring guest star on the network's "Parks and Recreation" and a former cast member of its flagship comedy program, "Saturday Night Live."