WATCH: John Oliver dismantles General Motors’ outrageous banned words list

By Tom Boggioni
Monday, May 19, 2014 7:31 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

On HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver took apart General Motors for its internal document listing made public last week listing words employees were discouraged from using when discussing potential safety problems with their cars.

The leaked memo, containing 65-banned terms or words such as  “deathtrap,” “potentially disfiguring,” “grenade-like,” “rolling sarcophagus,” “Kevorkianesque,” and “unbelievable engineering screw-up,” follows in the wake of a year when GM recalled a record 11 million vehicles with problems ranging from defective brakes to a ignition switch issue that resulted in several deaths.

Oliver suggested the list was compiled by GM executives using word association games, with the new Chevy Sonic inspiring “crippling and dangerous,” before adding, “There are no bad ideas here, just bad cars.”

Oliver then introduced a “honest” General Motors’ ad incorporating many of the terms in a more positive manner before closing with a new corporate tagline: “Why walk through the valley of the shadow of death when you can drive?”

Watch the video below courtesy of HBO:

Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.