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The Saturday Night Live season premiere was in many ways a victory for women in entertainment: it had a female host and it featured the debut of not one but two new female castmembers.
But what was gained in girl power was lost under the weight of some prominent profanity from new SNL lady, Jenny Slate.
In case you missed it, Slate and co-star Kristin Wiig were acting out a talk show in which they repeatedly used sanitized versions of the F-word (e.g. frickin', friggin', etc.), but it seems Slate got a little too into character and used the actual F-word.
There seems to be a bit of an F-word epidemic spreading across the TV airwaves: Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane let one slip during the Emmys pre-show. And Ernie Anastos, a local news anchor in New York City, perplexed many a YouTube viewer by a using an F-word that rhymes with "plucking" in the phrase "keep plucking that chicken."
Of course these are only recent examples of big names using bad words. As these celebrities well know, being a lady doesn't necessarily mean talking like one.
- In a Good Morning America interview, Diane Keaton, flummoxed by Diane Sawyer's timeless beauty, uttered the Most Famous Four Letter Word. She said: "I would like to have lips like that. Then I wouldn't have worked on my f**king personality. Excuse me, my personality. If I had lips like yours, I'd be better off. My life would be better. I would be married. I have these thin lips." Sawyer recovered from her shock by later ending the interview saying, "This is Diane Keaton, who will be answering to the censors."
- Joan Rivers has not one, but two dirty words on her public record. Most famously, the gabby comedian used the F word (and the S word!) to describe her feelings about Russell Crowe (hint: she's not really a fan). She later offered an expletive-laden apology for the expletive-laden British interview.
Then, this past summer, Joan let the F word fly on air again. She got upset when a morning radio deejay in Sacramento, California made a joke about her daughter, Melissa. She said
- It wasn't the F word, but to some people's ears, it's even worse: Jane Fonda, in a Today show interview about her appearance on the stage show, The Vagina Monologues, the actress dropped the C-word. NBC quickly issued an apology for the blooper -- even though Vagina Monologues creator, Eve Ensler, didn't think it was necessary.
The Federal Communications Commission obviously doesn't take kindly to this kind of language, and the network that airs the profanity is subject to a hefty fine. So what will become of young Jenny Slate? Most likely she'll get nothing more than a stern talking-to from her boss, Saturday Night Live honcho, Lorne Michaels. The FCC has a "safe harbor" between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., when use of indecent and/or profane language won't be subject to an official reprimand.
Do you think the rules regarding language on broadcast media are too strict or not strict enough? Chime in below!