Was bleeping "Amish" from Earl really necessary?
As Mike S. pointed out in his review of My Name is Earl, a TV Squadder pointed out to him that the word "Amish" was bleeped out of the show right at the beginning of the episode. That TV Squadder would be me. I noticed that right at the beginning of the episode, as Earl and Randy are helping Catalina wax a hirstute neighbor, Earl's voiceover says something like this: "You know how the <silence> go around the village and raise money to build a barn? That's what we did to get Wilma to wax her moustache."
Of course, you know that weirdly silent moment was a word that was bleeped in post-production. And, given the fact that the Amish community is still reeling from the school shooting that occurred earlier this week, and that the community does exactly what Earl described, chances are pretty good that NBC bleeped the word "Amish" from the show at the last minute, in deference to the school shooting in Lancaster County, PA earlier this week.
Don't get me wrong, the shooting was sad and tragic, something that no family should ever have to go through. But I don't know what NBC's motives were for bleeping the word from the episode. Earl wasn't making fun of the Amish, just stating that they collect money to build a barn. He wasn't talking about the Amish and guns, or about Amish children or schools. He just mentioned something they did.
It seemed like it was yet another network overreaction; they bleeped the word just in case one person in the country might possibly be offended by the non-offensive use of the word. But given it's usage, I'm sure no one would have noticed or cared. Heck, since the Amish don't watch TV, they wouldn't have even known that the word was used in the show.
Yes, it's an unfortunate coincidence that the word was there the same day the folks in Lancaster buried their children, but there was no need to wipe the word from the episode. In fact, by bleeping it, NBC has drawn more attention to the word (like in posts like this) than they would have if they left it alone. Nice work, NBC!