Texas-based Pizza Patrón claims censorship over new pizza
(KEYE) -- A Texas-based pizza place is claiming it's being censored by National Public Radio after it canceled a planned segment on Pizza Patrón because of a questionable pizza name.
It's called "La Ch!#gona, and it's so controversial it can't even be mentioned on air. The ad features personalities saying they are "chingón' enough to try the company's spicy new pizza".
As a verb, it translates into the ultimate swear word and it starts with the letter F.
"It's impolite. It's probably something you wouldn't tell your grandma or your mother," says one customer.
While some people may find the word extremely offensive for others it means "super cool" or "awesome."
"It's very spicy and it's very good, it has a lot of pepperoni with jalapeno and also fresh jalapeno," says Pizza Patrón Regional Director Yesica Cardosa.
Like the pizza, the name is getting plenty of heat as well. Austin, Tex. Spanish language radio station La Z will air the commercial -- which is aimed at Pizza Patrón's core customer base, Mexican immigrants, but you won't hear the pizza's name.
"It has to be bleeped, we're not going to air it unfiltered, for sure," says Chase Rupe, the VP of programming and Operations at Emmis Communications.
Like english-speaking TV and radio stations, LA Z is governed by the FCC.
"Really don't have bright lines as to what we can and can't say so it becomes a local judgment call and we can certainly get fined if we air on the wrong side of the Judgment. And it's hard to know what is and isn't acceptable, at least in the FCC's eyes," says Rupe.
Violating FCC guidelines can cost thousands of dollars. Pizza Patrón says several radio stations across the country are doing the same but the chain doesn't plan on changing the name.
"The decision to ban the spots over the name La Ch!#gona doesn't make much sense to us," stated Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patrón on the company's website. "We are being selectively censored to protect the Mexican listeners from so-called potentially 'offensive' language. These same networks regularly feature songs and talk-show dialogue that is much more risqué than anything we are doing."
According to Real Academia Española, the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language, the definition of the word 'chingón' is defined as follows: chingón, na. 1. adj. street slang. Méx. "Said of a person who is competent in an activity or knowledgeable in a specific area."