If (like everyone participating in our interactive live blog) you’ve kept up with what happened last night at the MTV Movie Awards, then you probably know two things about last night’s ceremony: Tom Cruise was awesome and there was a lot, a whole lot, of cursing. MTV operated the broadcast with a delay and did a lot of bleeping but there was so much of it that in some places a few of the F-bombs got through. So of course someone’s pitching a fit.

Predictably, in this case it’s the Parents Television Council which expects us to believe they were permanently scarred by the use of the word “fuck”. This would be easier to believe if, for instance, they actually knew the name of the event they’re complaining about. For some reason in their statement they insist on calling the MTV Movie Awards the MTV Music Awards. Here’s their complaint: “Families were assaulted by the content found on the MTV Music Awards and on Hard Times and we should not have to pay for this kind of filth on our cable bills – especially since it’s targeted directly towards our children.”

A few things. First, it would probably be a lot easier to take them seriously if they’d take a more reasonable stance. Characterizing something you don’t like as “filth” seems a bit extreme. They’ve instantly alienated anyone who likes watching the MTV Movie Awards, having just labeled its fans as lovers of filth. Secondly, they’re lying. They claim the show is targeted towards their children. Except it aired at 9pm on the East Coast. Most kids, at least those with good parents, are in bed by then. Then there’s the channel. It’s MTV. There’s not a single program on the entire channel that’s even remotely suitable for children and if you're an even halfway decent parent then you’ve long ago locked out MTV and all its subsidiaries on your cable box. It’s pretty easy to do, any parent can do it.

But to me, even worse than the shrieking accusations issuing from the Parents Council is the steaming pile of bullshit which has issued forth from MTV in response. They’ve sent out an apology, and here it is, as reported by Deadline: “The MTV Movie Awards is a live televised event known for irreverent comedy and a party atmosphere where our guests speak more freely than they otherwise might… While we aired the live broadcast with a delay, we were unable to mute every word that some might find objectionable. All of these words will be muted in subsequent airings. We sincerely apologize to those in our audience who were offended by any objectionable words that might have slipped by for the live airing.”

Here’s the problem with this statement: It makes it sound as though all the cursing was just some horrible accident they couldn’t possibly have prepared for. While I believe MTV did make every effort to bleep as much as possible, I don’t believe that the sheer volume of fucks and shits and cunts being dropped on that stage was an accident. If you watched the awards it seemed clear that much of it was intentional. Most of the cursing felt as staged and planned as that awkward not-kiss between Scarlett Johansson and Sandra Bullock. The excessive cursing was a bizarre sort of comedy bit which went so far that it fast became incredibly lame. Having a few fucks slip through the censorship filter may have been an accident, but the excessive and gratuitous use of every swear word in the dictionary throughout the ceremony was no mistake.

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