Is it a sign of the times? Censors riding the “bleep” button during live programming such as last night are “Golden Globes?” Expletives flowed from the likes of actresses Jaqueline Bisset (Dancing on the Edge), and Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake). And then there was an entire gap in audio when Diane Keaton was bleeped for her explicit language while accepting an award on behalf of Woody Allen.
There were numerous mentions in Golden Globes news coverage, as well as on the show itself, of the 506 times the “f-bomb” was dropped in nominated film “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the film, said in an interview the overuse of the word was important to demonstrate the debauchery of the time.
Recently, we’ve seen increasing “frankness of the language,” as the “New York Times” calls it, slipping beyond movies and shows into mainstream advertising. Whether it’s an attempt to reach a younger audience or a reflection of the American vernacular is debatable. Of note though is that in most cases, when marketing firms create racy ads, they often generate a toned down version for media outlets that have standards disallowing such content.
That brings to question, is a “bleepfest” really a sign of the times or just an attempt to generate buzz? Searching the Golden Globes certainly turns up its share of stories around the work of the censors during last night’s telecast. Sunday’s viewership of the awards show was a record 17 million. But, it might be interesting to note that viewers tuned in by the millions, 10.2 million to be exact, the previous Sunday to watch the season premiere of “Downton Abbey,” a show in which the barbs cast at one another are just as cutting, but oh-so-much more censor friendly. (i.e. Violet, on Sir Anthony at the altar: “He looks as if he’s waiting for a beating from the headmaster.”) So, perhaps we’re a little more gracious and gentile as a nation than the language movies, ads and awards shows would lead us to believe, and all this bleeping language is just a ploy to get us writing and talking about them.