8

Better Call Saul has had 2 non-bleeped uses of the f-word this season that I've noticed. In the past, AMC shows have typically bleeped these words from the episode and the word was non-bleeped on the DVDs. Breaking Bad is one example, which was run on the same network with the same production and writing staff. The producers of Breaking Bad were allowed one censored f-bomb per season. But this season they are allowing multiple f-bombs, un-censored.

So why the change to have them un-censored now? Is there some sort of new trend here? A change in regulations? Or some other reason?

Edit:

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    I think so. I've noticed f-bombs in "The Purge" on USA and "American Horror Story" on FX. – user25738 Oct 2 '18 at 18:21
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    <incredulous sarcasm> They still bleep bad language on US TV for adult shows after the watershed?? </incredulous sarcasm> Seriously, I haven't heard a 'rude word' bleeped in the UK in 20 years, on that type of show. – disassociated Oct 2 '18 at 20:18
  • They do on basic cable networks such as AMC and FX. But it would appear that has changed this year. – sanpaco Oct 2 '18 at 20:37
  • I've heard of shows where the makers were allowed one uncensored "fuck" per season, though IIRC it couldn't be used as a reference to sex, e.g. "that's fucking awful" was OK, but "they were fucking on the backseat of his car" wasn't. – BCdotWEB Oct 14 '18 at 11:00
  • @Tetsujin - they don't really have a watershed on US TV, which is why you can have graphic sex and sweating at 9am on one channel and have "God Damn" bleeped on a Columbo episode at 9pm on another. For channels like AMC, it's somewhat down to their own personal choice. – Laconic Droid Oct 15 '18 at 12:26
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+100

The FCC has no say on the language happening in cable TV. In fact the only real reason they censor at all is due to advertising etc. In my opinion Really it was all about an image. “We are a family broadcasting company so we will censor swearing”. Also it seems they are now faced with the competition of Netflix, HBO, etc who have allowed swearing since the beginning. Here is a link on the FCC program content regulations - https://www.fcc.gov/media/program-content-regulations

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    Welcome to the site! This is a good answer, so thank you. But if you wanted to improve it, you might consider adding a source? Perhaps a link to the FCC's website? – LevenTrek Oct 14 '18 at 6:54
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    Thank you for the advice I will be sure to do that and thank you for the warm welcome I edited my answer to add a source. – Kjetil Fimbulvetr Oct 15 '18 at 0:15
  • Thanks for the time to submit an answer and welcome to the site! The link you shared definitely shows that the FCC doesn't regulate cable TV channels, but the other part of your answer lacks any sources to support the theory that this is due to competition with other networks. AMC has had many of the top rated cable drama series of all time prior to allowing the f-word to be uncensored, so I don't see how this change gives them any additional capital. Do you have any sources to support that idea? – sanpaco Oct 15 '18 at 4:16
  • Well my comment I admit was part speculation, usually the networks seemed to not allow swearing due to their advertisers. I only really guessed the reason the advertisers started being more accepting was due to competition but you’re right I have no evidence to back up the competition factor and only the fact they started allowing more swearing here is the link to support they mostly relied on advertisers to make decisions on what to allow. - slashfilm.com/swearing-on-syfy-and-usa – Kjetil Fimbulvetr Oct 15 '18 at 22:32
4

According to this thread on Reddit:

RyanXera: I heard that in Breaking Bad, the channel let them have 1 or 2 F-bombs per season, something like that.

-Nazeda-: Yeah, that was on the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast the cast&crew did parallel to the show if I recall correctly. I believe Vince Gilligan mentioned they "only get a certain amount of fucks and shits".

Aaron Paul discusses the use of profanity in this appearance on Conan:

We were allowed to say as many "bitch"s as you wanted, we had six "shit"s per year, [...] and also one "f***".

  • Except it was always censored in the network airing but then uncensored on the DVD. The pattern of censoring it in the airing of the episode seems to have changed this year. This answer doesn't really explain why they've stopped censoring. – sanpaco Oct 15 '18 at 17:56
  • @sanpaco As the answer explains, it wasn't always censored. They were allowed one a season, and now that frequency seems to have increased slightly (if your observation is correct). Why did the network decide to somewhat loosen their stance? Who knows. They're not likely to explain themselves. – BCdotWEB Oct 16 '18 at 8:51
  • I am interpreting that differently. He doesn't say they were allowed one uncensored f-bomb per season. There was always one f-bomb but it was always censored. By censored I mean it was in the show, but the network would bleep it out. I remember this very distinctly from watching the original airings. But it is uncensored on the DVDs. The change now is that the network airing is now allowing uncensored f-bombs and also apparently more of them. – sanpaco Oct 16 '18 at 13:02

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