ABC’s “Modern Family” created a stir last week after it was revealed that an upcoming plot line would feature the show’s toddler dropping the f-bomb.
The much-hyped episode in question aired Wednesday, following statements of condemnation from the conservative Parents Television Council and a group called the No Cussing Club. McKay Hatch, the 18-year-old founder of the No Cussing Club, went as far as asking ABC to pull the episode.
But the 30-minute episode — aptly titled “Little Bo Bleep” — aired as planned, with 2-year-old Lily uttering the profane word several times to her parents’, played by a gay couple on the show, horror — including during a wedding ceremony.
“It is certainly in poor taste,” Melissa Henson, director of communications for the Parents Research Council, told Fox News. “The more we see and hear this kind of language on television, the more acceptable and common it will become in the real world.”
But executive producer Steve Levitan, who teased the episode during a television panel discussion earlier in the month, said he thought the storyline was a natural one for the show, which took home a win for best TV comedy at Sunday’s Golden Globes. Still, he said it took some effort to bring the network on board.
“We had to really convince ABC,” Levitan told Entertainment Weekly. “We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we’ve all been through this. ABC will tell you “Modern Family” gets away with a lot, because I think it’s all about context. We are not a sexually charged show. It has a very warm tone so people accept it more. I’m sure we’ll have some detractors.”
Still, prior to the show’s airing, the outrage reached such a pitch that Levitan took to Twitter to try to quell some of the rancor.
“For the record, when shooting, the actress who plays Lily never actually dropped the F-Bomb. After, who knows? he gets cranky when tired,” Levitan tweeted.
Eric Stonestreet, who plays Lily’s father, similarly took to the micro-blogging site as well: “Lily didn’t ACTUALLY say FU*K. She said fudge. How bout see the episode, THEN form an opinion. For fudge sake people. Chill the f–k out.”
When episode aired Wednesday, the actual word was bleeped and the toddler’s mouth was blurred out, causing some entertainment sites to question what the big deal was.
“Maybe it was all of the advance publicity about this episode, but I would say this plotline was more amusing than funny….I pretty much knew where it was headed, so it didn’t elicit the usual surprised laughter that accompanies many “Modern Family” episodes,” Henry Hanks wrote on CNN’s Marquee Blog.
The Hollywood Reporter collected a number of Twitter responses that shared similar views.
“Lily drops what will appear to be the F Bomb on Modern Family tonight lol ppl r in an uproar.. Its all a part of childhood #chillout,” user Ms_Fortress wrote.
Click here to see a clip from the episode.
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