When the world was first introduced to TV shows, there was much censorship. They did not allow much explicit content, especially on non-cable networks. In the earliest days of TV, there was no talks of sex, violence, drugs, or any language that could be deemed offensive. Every show on the planet had to market its content to ensure that it was family friendly. They were not allowed to show a married couple sleeping in the same bed or even use the word pregnant. It was deemed very controversial if any of the censorship guidelines were crossed.
As times passed and television started evolving more shows were becoming more explicit about using curse words. Today there is so much graphic language on TV that the shock factor is non-existent. Everything from Trojan commercials in the morning to explicit language on talk shows and soap operas. Curse words on TV have become so familiar that they are not even surprising anymore.
Timeline of TV Censorship
Perhaps the earliest TV shows like I Love Lucy were the ones who paved the way for others. In 1952 Lucille Ball’s pregnancy was portrayed during an entire season of I Love Lucy yet the word pregnant was not used. The show instead used the term “having a baby” or “expecting.” The word pregnant was not used because the CBS deemed the word too vulgar to use. In 1948 the show Mary Kay and Johnny were the first to show a baby being delivered. Later shows like I Love Lucy began showing more babies being delivered. Eventually, the censorship over the word pregnancy lifted.
TV Shows That Crossed Censorship
However, that was just the beginning there was still so many other regulations network had to get through. In 1971 in the show, All In The Family depicted Archie Bunker as the first character to ever use racial slurs. He was a white male that showed his dislike for people who are blacks, Indians, Polish, Hispanic, or any other race. Despite the TV doing its best to portray realism on TV the censorship made it very difficult. The next big turn in television came in 1975 when HBO featured Robin Klein uncensored Comedy Special. This was the first time a network allowed a show to use profanity.
As the 1980’s and ‘90’s started rolling in, shows like The Golden Girls, The Simpsons, and Seinfeld forever changed the language of TV. As Primetime began being less censored so did Daytime TV allowing soaps to use more curse words. With the introduction of reality shows, it again transformed the amount of content airing. On TV today no matter what network it is every curse word except for the F-bomb is used. TV shows today are putting the first censorship guidelines to shame with the amount of explicit language being used.
How to Change the Explicit Language on TV
The best way to change cursing on TV is to know the best time and place to use it. Early in the morning is not the time for TV shows to have profanity. The only exception during the mornings should be made on cable networks like HBO and Starz. After 8 or 9 PM then networks like ABC, CBS, and NBC can showcase TV with cursing. Primetime shows with explicit content can air around 6 PM.
Increasing the PSA on programming with explicit content will also change the language on TV. It will also help parents monitor what their children are watching. TV is not the only blame for profanity being used in today’s society, but it is a contributing factor. If we follow a few guidelines there, curse words on TV would be more surprising to their viewership. Every show on TV does not have to use explicit content to gain ratings. More family-friendly shows are recommended and appreciated in today’s time.