"Modern Family" apparent F-bomb drop causes a stir

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15: (L-R) Actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sofia Vergara, creator/producer Steven Levitan, actors Sarah Hyland, Ty Burrell, Nolan Gould, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, Rico Rodriguez, Ed O'Neill and Ariel Winter, winners of the Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy award for "Modern Family" pose for a portrait backstage at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) Christopher Polk

The cast of "Modern Family" poses at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 15, 2012.
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(CBS/AP) A 2-year-old dropping the F-bomb on network television? Say it isn't so. The cuss word won't actually be used in an episode airing tonight, but it will appear as though a toddler actually says it, a decision that is causing quite the stir.

An anti-profanity crusader has asked the ABC television network to pull this week's "Modern Family" episode titled, "Little Bo Bleep," in which 2-year-old Lily shocks parents Mitchell and Cameron (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet) with her first expletive.

The dads, who are preparing Lily to serve as flower girl in a wedding, now have an added parenting challenge.

The tot is played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who says the word "fudge" during taping. It will be bleeped on the air and her mouth will be obscured by pixilation, and viewers will get the impression that her character used the actual F-word.

"Our main goal is to stop this from happening," McKay Hatch, an 18-year-old college student who founded the No Cussing Club in 2007, said Tuesday. "If we don't, at least ABC knows that people all over the world don't want to have a 2-year-old saying the 'F-bomb' on TV."

"We hope they know better," said Hatch. He's asking his club's members, whom he said number 35,000 in the United States and about three dozen other countries, to complain to ABC.

The network had no comment, a spokeswoman said.

Hatch isn't the only one up in arms. So is the Parents Television Council.

"It is certainly in poor taste," Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council told FOX411. "The more we see and hear this kind of language on television, the more acceptable and common it will become in the real world," she said. "Since television is constantly adding to the likelihood that children will be exposed to this kind of language, we will naturally see more and more children eventually emulate that behavior."

Steven Levitan, creator and executive producer of the TV comedy with Christopher Lloyd, told the Television Critics Association last week that he's "proud and excited" about the obscenity plotline that ABC was persuaded to allow.

"We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we've all been through this," Levitan said to EW.com. "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."

The program was named best musical or comedy series at Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony.

McKay Hatch, who is from South Pasadena, Calif., and attends Brigham Young University in Rexburg, Idaho, said he began his anti profanity club in 2007 when he noticed how rampant cursing was at his school and how it was linked to bullying.

TV profanity was an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court last week, which heard arguments about whether regulating curse words and nudity on broadcast stations is sensible when cable and satellite services offer channels with few restrictions. A decision is expected by late June.

Tell us: Do you think the episode should be pulled?

  • CBS News Staff

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