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October 13, 2015

Is There More $#*! on Television?

by Jean Bentley, posted Nov 9th 2010 1:30PM
'$#*! My Dad Says'According to the latest publicity-baiting study from the Parents Television Council (mission accomplished!), primetime television has gotten a heck of a lot more foul-mouthed over the past five years.

In the study, called "A Habitat for Profanity: Broadcast TV's Sharp Increase in Foul Language," the PTC uncovered a 69 percent increase in the use of profanity during peak primetime viewing hours between 2005 and 2010, Deadline reports.

"Our analysis of the first two weeks of this still-new fall television season shows a disturbing trend that shocked even us," PTC President Tim Winter said. "Profanity is far more frequent and the profanity itself is far harsher than just five years ago. Even worse, the most egregious language is being aired during the time slots when children are most likely to be in the audience."

Not only has the overall use of expletives increased, the worst ones have been used the most. The f-bomb (albeit muted or bleeped) was dropped just 11 times in 2005, but exploded 276 times in 2010 for a 2,409 percent increase. The s-word was also used 11 times in 2005, but increased to 95 utterances in 2010, a 763 percent increase.

The worst offender was Fox, with a 269 percent increase in profanity usage.

While some of the PTC's crusades seemed designed specifically to nab headlines (see: that whole 'Glee'/GQ brouhaha), this study raises some interesting questions. What sparked such a drastic increase? Despite the fact that the shows are airing during traditionally family-friendly time slots, should children be watching? What do you think?

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I'd like to watch them watch Craig Ferguson, their heads would explode with the amount of times he says "ooh la la".

November 09 2010 at 4:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I am constantly amazed by how arbitrary these rules are. Apparently it's OK for a character on TV to say "lick my b--ls" (I edit since I'm less sure about TV Squad's rules), but not the much less graphic or offensive "s--t".

For that matter hundreds of exact synonyms for both "s--t" and "f--k" show up on TV every day. Why is the meaning of these words acceptable TV fare, while these 2 particular sequences of phonemes are deemed to have magical corrupting powers? Seriously, I want to know if anyone has a theory. I find it utterly mystifying.

November 09 2010 at 3:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


Not for nothing but shouldn't parents of young children be watching TV with their kids? I did when mine were young. Instead kids have tv's in their rooms, computers and laptops, with no one supervising them. If you are a good parent you pay attention to what your kids are doing and you can change the channel or turn it off. I don't need some group telling me what my kids should watch I'll decide that for myself.

November 09 2010 at 3:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Fabrice R

The networks are doing it to keep those attention-whores morons from the PTC busy.

November 09 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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