2 Basic Cable Channels Are Now Allowing the Use of the F-Word


Two basic cable channels are now allowing the use of the word “f—” on television, and more will probably follow suit.

Premium channels, like HBO and Showtime, have used the word frequently, but cable channels are accountable to advertisers and generally keep the swearing to a minimum.

“Basic cable is not subject to the guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission, so the channels’ self-regulation is based on standard mores, and what advertisers are perceived to tolerate,” Buzzfeed wrote according to The Daily Wire. “So it makes sense that in a world in which President Trump uses the word s—hole during a policy meeting, which was then followed by news divisions’ divisions to repeat the obscenity, these standards are always evolving.”

Now, Syfy and the USA Network will allow the use of the coarse word whenever they see fit, The Daily Wire reported.

“Syfy declined to put an executive on the phone to discuss the change in the internal rules, but a spokesperson said that when language — f— specifically — is deemed important to the style or plot of a show, Syfy and USA now allow it,” Buzzfeed continued. “Any show with f— airs with the TV-MA guideline, denoting that the program is meant for adult viewers.”

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AMC and FX are following their lead, according to The Daily Wire.

According to Buzzfeed, the “first purposeful, uncensored ‘f—‘” was aired in 2003.

“But it was nearly 15 years ago — on July 4, 2003 — that Comedy Central aired what seems to be the first purposeful, uncensored ‘f—‘ on basic cable, during the kickoff of its programming block ‘Secret Stash,'” Buzzfeed wrote. “Secret Stash” was aired Saturdays and Sundays at 1 a.m., but it no longer exists.

Uncensored programs on Comedy Central air after midnight and are rated TV-MA.

Do you think basic cable channels should be allowed to use the f-word?

In 2016, FX president John Landgraf addressed the use of profanity at the Television Critic Association’s 2015 summer press tour, The Washington Post reported.

“We’ve used the f-word on air now multiple times in the last several years,” Landgraf said. “So we’re on the verge of being, kind of, done with the debate or battle over language. It’s close anyway.”

According to the Daily Wire, this all started when CNN covered President Donald Trump’s alleged comment that African nations were “s—hole countries.”

The network said the word almost 200 times in one day, flashed it across the screen without censoring it and even the morning show wrote it out on a whiteboard, The Daily Wire reported. The morning show which airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. reportedly used the word 33 times.

“There’s no question that some of the policies and rules and words that we use have changed over the years because society has changed,” Alan Wurtzel, overseer of research and broadcast standards for NBC, told The Post in 2016.

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Co-creator of Syfy’s “The Magicians” Sera Gamble said that they now “feel more like ourselves” by being able to use the word.

“We all just feel more like ourselves when we can use the word ‘f—.’ It feels honest. And it’s just a perfect word,” Gamble told Buzzfeed over Twitter. “Maybe Trump will use it in public sometime and then even NPR will uncensor their f—s!”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith