LONDON — Swearing on TV? Most British viewers don’t give a … darn.
Research for the communications watchdog Ofcom shows viewers are increasingly willing to accept strong language in the right context.
Ofcom’s broadcasting code, designed to minimize “harm and offense,” bars strong swearing before 9 p.m.
Study participants watched extracts from programs including sitcoms, sports coverage and a show featuring foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay.
The study published Wednesday found that mild profanities such as “damn” were generally considered acceptable at any time, while some potentially discriminatory words — including “loony” and “mental” — were widely considered inoffensive.
Few objected to stronger swear words after 9 p.m., but opinion was divided on the F-word.