Toddler bleeper criticized by no-cussing club


ABC’s “Modern Family” is addressing an issue that many parents have faced in real life – a small child who in the struggle to master the English language strays in to territory comedians would call blue. The No Cussing Club is asking ABC to ax depiction of a two-year-old dropping an f-bomb.

The episode is airing Wednesday 1/18/12 at 9PM EST. That is not in safe harbor, but it need not be, since no profanity or obscenity is actually part of the program. According to reports, the toddler said “fudge” during taping, and that word will be bleeped during airing.

The surprise addition to the toddler’s language repertoire comes up just as the family is getting ready for a wedding. The danger is presented by the toddler’s prominent role in that event – as prominent as a toddler generally can get, anyway. She is in the wedding as a flower girl.

The No Cussing Club is a website started by now 18-year-old McKay Hatch back in 2007. It is asking ABC not to air it, saying people don’t want to hear it.

Steve Levitan, who is the man behind the program’s creation, said they had to convince ABC to go with the plot, but were able to get the network to approve since this is a problem that many families go through in real life.

RBR-TVBR observation: We aren’t seeing a great deal of fuss made about this story line. The established indecency watchdogs are no doubt aware that since no f-bomb is actually dropped, there is nothing actionable to protest. And this is very much real-life programming. We’ve been there.

As far as the language coming from a toddler goes, kids that age are programmed to pick up as much knowledge as they possibly can, and they can be excellent mimics. They of course are not as apt to pick up the full meaning of some of the words they hear, and as a rule, parents can’t put a given word on the bad list until it’s been introduced.

Then there’s the whole other category of slightly mispronounced words. Our daughter had a long list of cute ones. Callapitter, frigelator, prentzel and breftis were among our favorites. But then there was that day, riding in her carseat during a particularly challenging commute, that she mispronounced one of Dad’s passionately-uttered words. The toddler version was asho.

We will not even go into the troubles our son had with the word truck…