Looks like TV is about to become a real s***hole.
After President Trump allegedly used that word to describe Haiti and some African nations in a private meeting (he denies it), the mainstream media went nuts. Quasi-news outlet CNN reveled in the toilet, saying the word nearly 200 times times in one day. The network flashed it on the screen often — with no censoring — and morning host Chris Cuomo wrote it on a white board (“THIS IS WHO HE IS: S***HOLE” he wrote, without the asterisks). The morning show from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. used the word 33 times. “New Day” indeed.
So, apparently, that word’s now completely OK to say on TV.
Guess what’s next? Yup, you got it.
“When It Comes To Language, Broadcasters Increasingly Don’t Give A…” whoa, we’ll just bleep the last word of the Buzzfeed headline, which they ran in all its glory.
Premium channels have long employed the word, giving their content that “edge” that the cool adults love (we’re guessing they’d say). But now, two basic cable channels — Syfy and the USA Network — will be dropping the “F” bomb whenever they see fit (and we’re guessing like a pair of 12-year-old boys on a playground who’ve just learned the word, that’ll be a lot).
“Basic cable is not subject to the guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission, so the channels’ self-regulation is based on standard mores, and what advertisers are perceived to tolerate. So it makes sense that in a world in which President Trump uses the word [s***hole’] during a policy meeting, which was then followed by news divisions’ decisions to repeat the obscenity, these standards are always evolving,” Buzzfeed wrote (asterisks ours).
“Syfy declined to put an executive on the phone to discuss the change in the internal rules, but a spokesperson said that when language — [f***] specifically — is deemed important to the style or plot of a show, Syfy and USA now allow it. Any show with [‘f***’] airs with the TV-MA guideline, denoting that the program is meant for adult viewers,” Buzzfeed wrote. Well, that’ll keep a 12 year old from watching for sure!
Other basic cable channels are following. AMC now allows the “F” word, and FX, too.
Look, we’re not prudes. We’ve heard the word a lot, and said it, too, plenty of times. But the problem lies simply with who’s hearing it. We wouldn’t say it in an elementary school art class, but might let one rip with golf buddies on the course after a duffed shot.
In the end, it’s about the coarsening of society. While it works on premium channels like HBO and Showtime — in adult shows, of course — children and young people are more likely to hear it on a basic cable channel. It’s that simple.
But we guess it’s way too late to just go back to “Gilligan’s Island.” Let’s just be thankful that the words brought into the lexicon by Bill “Bubba” Clinton didn’t make it to mainstream TV — nor did his varied uses for cigars.