Attitudes to swearing changing concludes Ofcom report

Television viewers attitudes towards swearing are changing and softening concludes an Ofcom report with previously taboo words now free to be broadcast at any time of the day.


A report by Ofcom, the media watchdog, has concluded that on the whole viewers attitudes towards swearing have softened. While there may be a vocal minority who still complain every time a swear word is used it’s just that – a minority. Fewer complaints are received about swearing than in previous years and now previously taboo words are free to be broadcast at any time of the day.


Words such as “Loony”, “Nutter”, “Queer” and “Poof” are now be used at anytime of the day although the inclusion of two slang words for gays – and often offensively used against homosexuals – will likely anger some campaigning groups. In recent years there has been a growing backlash against such use of provocative language on television and Chris Moyles, the Radio One DJ, has come under attack several times by gay campaigners for the language he uses.


The report was commissioned by the media watchdog to help staff deal with those who do complain about swearing on television – with a guidance of what the majority of the watching public feel is acceptable Ofcom staff will be better at dealing with those who take offensive. The report was conducted in several major cities across the country and while some words were still deemed as to be broadcast able only after the watershed other words such as “Bitch” and “Wanker” were more flexible in what time viewers felt they could be aired.


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