TELEVISION | Tonight it's time for another new episode of the troublemakers Beavis and Butthead on MTV. If you watched last week's episode, you might have noticed some audio censorship applied in post production, presumably by the American "music" channel.


In the episode "Daughter's Hand" Beavis and Butt-head's neighbour Tom Anderson gets in a dispute with the guy next door who just moved in. The new neighbour eventually tells Mr Anderson to mind his own "God damn business", which made the editors on MTV unleash their rage. When put together, the words "God" and "damn" are apparently considered too strong for MTV's audiences. The "damn" part wasn't the problem, however. Instead, they beeped the word "God", ironically enough. So, in conclusion, it's perfectly fine to say "damn" as long as you don't mention the Lord, or perhaps baby Jebus or holy Mary beforehand.

Sexual themes are still go

Cartoon violence is also acceptable,
by MTV and PG-14 standards
At the same time, the whole theme of the episode was Beavis and Butt-head's misinterpretation of the phrase "ask for someone's daughter's hand" as to be asking for a hand job. MTV apparently didn't have any problems sharing that with their oh so sensitive viewers. It's funny how they justify filling up their entire programming with teen pregnancies and superficial youngsters flashing their bums every day without any hesitation, but still decide to beep out mild offensive language like "Goddamn" in a light-hearted cartoon.

It's not the first time this animated series have had this kind of differences with MTV, however. I remember an old interview with Mike Judge, creator of the show, where he explains how they couldn't use the word "butthole", as the TV network realised the show was starting to attract younger viewers, after the quite raunchy first 1993 season of the cartoon. Mike then made his characters - Beavis primarily - instead use the now signature word "bunghole", which MTV apparently was okay with. After a while, Judge added, he was able to again sneak in the word "butthole" att some points, without it getting noticed by MTV's strict editors, who consciously or not, let it pass.

Dare you be thrrreatening the
Great Cornholio, bunghole?
I wonder what he (Mike Judge) has to come up with as a substitute for "Goddamn", this time around. I'm quite certain I've already heard Tom Anderson use both "Goddammit" as well as "what in the hell?" before without it being edited out, so MTV's censorship really doesn't seem very consistent, nor follow much of a rhyme or reason at all. Perhaps moving from PG-14 to MA-15+ would open up for some more creative freedom. It's just one year more or less, after all, and who cares about pimply Justin Bieber listening 14 year olds anyway? (irony)

/theJo

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