‘Glee‘ kids, you are off the hook now that the Parents Television Council has set its sights on a new target: TV’s increased allowance of profane language.
In a study titled “A Habitat for Profanity: A Five-Year Comparison of Foul Language on TV,” the PTC compared the volume of bad language used on series during the first two weeks of the 2005 and 2010 fall TV seasons. Having scrutinized nearly 130 hours of fall 2010 fare across the five broadcast networks, the organization cites a 69 percent increase in the overall use of profanity (outright or bleeped/muted).
Specifically, the PTC claims to have documented 276 instances of the bleeped or muted F-word this fall, representing a surge of 2,409 percent (!).
We pause here to ask: Is onerous ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ overlord Gordon Ramsay to blame here? Because frankly, if you are only talking about shows that air on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW – and the sometimes-saucy ‘Bachelor’/'Bachelorette’ was on hiatus during the study period in question – we are hard-pressed to reckon where those 276 F-bombs were dropped.
What’s more, some 111 of the aforementioned F-words presumably were uttered on 8 pm shows. All told, the PTC says that the “family friendly” 8 o’clock hour has been greatly corrupted by the “use of the harshest profanities, [including] explicit references to genitalia and bodily functions.”
Again we wonder: What broadcast shows are we not watching, that this overabundance of profanity has amazingly skirted our purview?
The Hollywood Reporter has reposted an easy-to-read chart included in the PTC’s report, and it details – by network and time period – the specific pieces of profanity being broadcast by the Big 5. Feel free to check it out, though we will caution you that uncensored examples of the bad words in question appear on the chart.
In lamenting the results of its study, the PTC says, “The public airwaves should offer a banquet for all. But increasingly, the broadcast networks are telling American families to swallow whatever they’re fed or starve. Those families are currently relegated to eating scraps at the table they themselves own.”
Do the results of the PTC study surprise you at all? Gordon Ramsay and the title of CBS’ ‘$#*! My Dad Says’ notwithstanding, have you sensed any increase in the amount of off-color language allowed by the networks, especially during the 8 o’clock hour?