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ABC apologizes after Wisconsin marching band joke on 'The Conners'

Christmas Parade SUV
Posted at 3:44 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 16:44:01-05

WAUKESHA, Wis. — MILWAUKEE, Wisc. (TMJ4) — An episode of ABC's "The Conners" received backlash after a joke referenced hitting a marching band with a car.

In the episode, a character was asked if they heard a "bump bump" while driving from Wisconsin. The character responded, "I could run over a marching band and not feel a thing in that RV."

The scene did not mention Waukesha by name. However, members of the Waukesha South High School marching band were seriously injured after Darrell Brooks drove through the 2021 Christmas parade, which resulted in six deaths and dozens of injuries.

ABC released a statement following the backlash, saying the network is "mortified" that the joke was perceived that way.

"On behalf of the entire team at The Conners, we’re deeply sorry and extend our sincere apologies to those who are still reliving the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy," ABC's statement said. "We would never consciously make light of such an event and are mortified that it was perceived that way. We have pulled the episode in its current form and will ensure this dialogue is removed from future airings. Our hearts are with the victims and their families."

The public Facebook group, "Waukesha Strong Community," shared their thought after the apology.

"This show needs to be taken off the air for good," one user wrote. "That was the most disgusting thing they could have said, and it was intentional."

"That's not good enough," another user wrote. "No one misinterpreted anything. It was deliberate."

"About as tone-deaf as someone making a joke about a school shooting," a person commented.

ABC says if any version of the episode airs later, it will be edited.

This story was originally reported by Madison Goldbeck on tmj4.com.