ABC’s Modern Family is releasing its f-word payload tonight despite attempts by a some protestors to halt the episode from airing. As EW.com previously reported, two-year-old Lily will horrify her parents by learning the word “f–k” on tonight’s episode “Little Bo Bleep.”
Since news of the episode broke, the always trusty Parents Television Council and a student organization nobody has ever heard of until now called the No Cussing Club have lined up against the hit series, outraged the Emmy-winning program would portray a foul-mouthed toddler.
“Our main goal is to stop this from happening,” said No Cussing Club founder McKay Hatch. “If we don’t, at least ABC knows that people all over the world don’t want to have a 2-year-old saying the ‘F-bomb’ on TV.”
“It is certainly in poor taste,” added Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for PTC to Fox411. “The more we see and hear this kind of language on television, the more acceptable and common it will become in the real world. Since television is constantly adding to the likelihood that children will be exposed to this kind of language, we will naturally see more and more children eventually emulate that behavior.”
Modern Family co-star Eric Stonestreet tweeted angrily about the controversy: “Lily didn’t ACTUALLY say FU*K. She said fudge. How bout see the episode, THEN form an opinion. For fudge sake people. Chill the f–k out … how bout redirecting energies of the No Cuss Club 2 reading 2 the elderly, picking up litter, feeding the hungry…”
Indeed. During the taping, the actress who plays Lily said “fudge,” so it’s not like producers taught a tot some profanity. But the show bleeps and blurs the word, and the reaction of Lily’s parents Cam and Mitchell make it clear the character supposedly said “f–k.” And to be fair, the Cussing Club and PTC is clearly concerned about what’s being portrayed to viewers in the show.
Here’s the thing: Since “f–k” is masked in the episode, the only way a child watching the show is going to know what Lily is saying is if an adult tells them. And if the PTC doesn’t think the f-word is already “common” in “the real world,” well … every person’s reality is almost entirely subjective, but most versions I’ve seen have profanity in it.
As Modern Family creator Steve Levitan told EW: “We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we’ve all been through this. ABC will tell you Modern Family gets away with a lot, because I think it’s all about context. We are not a sexually charged show. It has a very warm tone so people accept it more. I’m sure we’ll have some detractors.”
Some detractors, some headlines, and now … some big ratings?