Profanity has risen 69 percent over the past five years on broadcast TV, according to a new study by the Parents Television Council (PTC) that compared the first two weeks of the fall television season in 2005 and 2010.
The f-word was bleeped out or muted 11 instances in 2005 — and 276 times in 2010, an increase of 2,409 percent. Shit was bleeped out 11 times in 2005 and 95 times in 2010, up 763 percent, the study reports.
The PTC says much of the profanity appears between 8 and 9 p.m., when children are more likely to be watching. For example, the f-word was heard during that hour 10 times in 2005 and 111 times in 2010; the s-word went from 11 instances to 42 in those same years.
Fox showed the greatest per-hour increase of profanity from 2005 to 2010: 269 percent across all prime-time hours, according to the PTC.
“Our analysis of the first two weeks of this still-new fall television season shows a disturbing trend that shocked even us. Profanity is far more frequent and the profanity itself is far harsher than just five years ago,” PTC president Tim Winter told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
The PTC calls for “broadcasters to set parameters and publicly explain their broadcast standards. Advertisers must also ensure that the language they help bring into our living rooms is consistent with their hard-earned corporate brands.”