Despite three attempts, ads for Artfuckers, the new Off Broadway play at the DR2 Theatre, won’t appear in the Times. All Times ads must be reviewed by the paper’s advertising-acceptability department, and the play’s title was deemed unacceptable—as was a compromise, which rendered it Artfxxxers. The Times “won’t accept a swear word, but they also won’t accept the notion of a swear word,” says the theater’s general manager, Adam Hess. When Shopping and Fucking played at the New York Theatre Workshop ten years ago, the Times accepted Shopping and … in ads. But that solution won’t work here, Hess says: “We have a one-word title. And there’s already a play called Art.” But maybe the Times’ readers just wouldn’t appreciate the play anyway. “The show itself is about an artist looking to be accepted and maintain his artistic POV,” Hess says. “Now the focus of our campaign is on media outlets that have fewer restrictions. That goes better with our demographic, anyway.” (New York will run the original ad.) Says a Times spokeswoman, “We do not run advertisements that contain obscene or vulgar words or allude to them in a manner that makes them recognizable.”
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