For a show as beloved by both critics and key demographics as Modern Family is, it was only a matter of time before someone bothered to find something to pick on. Last night’s episode is such a case as it focuses on the daughter of Cam and Mitchell (Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson) saying an explicit curse word, reports the Los Angeles Times. There are protest groups such as the No Cussing Club that believe cursing is strongly linked to bullying, which is why they want the “Little Bo Bleep” episode pulled from ABC’s primetime broadcast.
Of course, given the circumstances, this didn’t happen as it’s probably as it turned out to be as harmless and even touching as the cursing incident in A Christmas Story. If the episode did get pulled, South Park would’ve undoubtedly made a righteously hilarious episode about it. When daughter Lily does drop the F-bomb — and she does it no fewer than six times — it’s bleeped so heavily, that the only way you know what word she’s supposed to be saying is from the comments from the other characters. Chances are, the young actress didn’t even say “fuck” while they were shooting the scenes. You can check out the full episode below; the first “fuck” is around the 7:10 mark.
Still, it’s more disturbing that cursing is still an issue that is being dealt with such an unenlightened manner. It would be natural to assume that people just knew that the more you censor a word or idea, the more power that word or idea has been unnecessarily given. Yet, despite decades of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin and Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock and Louis C.K. demystifying verbal obscenities, there are several groups that want to perpetuate the falsehood that there are words that shouldn’t be said because children can be lead astray into a life similar to that of Disney’s Pinocchio when he started smoking cigars and playing pool.
In that assumed scenario that some independent study somewhere claims that a frequency in cursing amongst children is verifiably connected to bullying amongst children, what’s always forgotten about is the responsibility of the children’s parents. It’s not the network or studio’s responsibility to raise children or dissuade them from smoking, drinking or whatever. It’s their responsibility to entertain their aggregate viewership as best they can. Just like when one can decline to sign a petition hastily shoved in front of you at Trader Joe’s, a parent can not watch that episode of Modern Family or, more importantly, rear children to not bully or intimidate other children to get their way.
By the way, that’s a message that Louis C.K. fully endorses pretty much in his last two specials, but the people against cursing wouldn’t know that because C.K. likes saying fuck. What a fucking shame, right?