The Catholic League, led by president Bill Donohue, is on the attack after last Sunday’s episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm featured Larry David’s character accidentally spritzing a painting of Jesus hanging in a bathroom with a drop of urine as he relieved himself. In a statement, titled “Urinating on Jesus,” Donohue says, “At one point in the show, David goes to the bathroom in a Catholic home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus; he doesn’t clean it off. Then a Catholic woman goes to the bathroom, sees the picture and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her equally stupid mother and the two of them fall to their knees in prayer. When David and Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) are asked if they ever experienced a miracle, David answers, ‘every erection is a miracle.’ That’s what passes for creativity these days. Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother?”
David, whose character did appear to be mortified by his predicament, has yet to return EW’s request for comment, but HBO has issued the followed statement: “Anyone who follows Curb Your Enthusiasm knows that the show is full of parody and satire. Larry David makes fun of everyone, most especially himself. The humor is always playful and certainly never malicious.” The network would not reveal how many emails Chairman and CEO Bill Nelson has received since Donohue shared his email address at the end of his statement, but HBO does tell EW that most of the emails followed some sort of form letter and that the senders seemed not to have seen the episode themselves.
Susan Fani, director of communications for the Catholic League, would not quantify the number of calls and emails its New York-based office has received about the episode, but says the phone has been ringing all day: “Our members are opposed to it. There’s no one calling to support it, let’s put it that way.” Donohue is set to appear on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, and The Opie & Anthony Show, on Thursday.
The clip in question follows (warning, shows urination scenes):