F-word ruled OK for French broadcasts

The ruling states the F-word does not have the same “vulgar connotation” in French

Canada’s broadcast regulator has ruled that a swear word that’s off-limits on English-language broadcasts is acceptable in French programming.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that a Quebec music radio station did not violate any rules by airing two clips of celebrities using the F-word as part of public speeches.

A listener of CKOI-FM filed a complaint after hearing the profane clips from Madonna and Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong played two months apart on afternoon programming.

The council ruled that CKOI-FM did not violate broadcast standards by playing the uncensored clips.

It says the F-word does not have the same “vulgar connotation” in French that it does in English and notes that the term was not used as an insult directed at a specific target.

The latest ruling is consistent with a similar decision handed down last year regarding a French-language television broadcast.

CKOI referred to that past decision that excused television network MusiquePlus’ use of the F-word in a broadcast, emphasizing that the word is construed differently in Canada’s two official languages.

The broadcast regulator referenced that decision again in its latest ruling, noting that language is evolutionary and reflects current society.

“The panel prefers to impress upon broadcasters the need for appropriate viewer advisories and correct classification of programs rather than to target the occasional usage of vernacular language,” the latest decision said.

The two clips in the most recent case both involved celebrities whose music is played on CKOI making speeches in public settings, the council noted.

The first instance came shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, when afternoon hosts were discussing Madonna’s address to the recent Women’s March on Washington. The hosts aired and discussed a clip in which the pop star concluded her remarks with a profanity aimed at those who opposed the march.

Two months later, at 2:15 p.m. on March 25, a different afternoon host began discussing the rock group Green Day with a caller who had dialled in to request a song. When talk turned to a recent F-word-laden outburst from lead singer Armstrong, the host played an excerpt in which a variation of the word was heard three times.

The council ruled that neither instance breached Canada’s broadcast codes.

“First, the primary language of the program must be French,” the council wrote when laying out its criteria for use of the term. “Second, the use of the word must be infrequent; and third, the word cannot be used to insult or attack an individual or group. If a broadcast meets these three criteria, it is probable that the CBSC will not find a violation.”

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Colwood development draws ire of residents

Developer says he’s listened and addressed residents’ concerns

What is it like to be part of the Canadian Armed Forces?

Try military rations, combat gear and simulated shooting range on Saturday

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

West Shore craft fair roundup

Holiday-themed events taking place on the West Shore

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Uptown’s Christmas Tree Light Up is Saturday night

Uptown assembling 54-foot-tall tree for fifth annual Light Up

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read