Chicago HopeLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 1/13/18 at 12:37AM EST
CBS allowing an uncensored “sh*t happens” in 1999 paved the way for this week’s “sh*thole” TV spectacle
The word “sh*thole” was all over TV on Thursday, thanks to President Trump. But as Sean O'Neal points out, there was a time when the word “sh*t” generated controversy when a broadcast network allowed its use in primetime. CBS OK’d Mark Harmon’s doctor character to say “sh*t happens” in an October 1999 episode of Chicago Hope, the David E. Kelley medical drama, citing artistic reasons. The Parents TV Council warned that allowing a broadcast network to say “sh*t” would result in other shows using the profanity. And the PTC was right. ER would eventually say “sh*t.” NYPD Blue would utter “bullsh*t.” Even Howard Stern was outraged that CBS would allow a word that the FCC would fine him for. "The producers felt strongly that the line was important for artistic truthfulness," CBS said in a statement. "We wanted to support their creative vision, but clearly this is not something that will happen on a weekly basis." Ultimately, the FCC bought CBS’ reasoning for airing the profanity.