Cosby Critical of `Public Morals' New Sitcom's Language Is Offensive, He Says

By McAlister, Nancy | The Florida Times Union, July 25, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Cosby Critical of `Public Morals' New Sitcom's Language Is Offensive, He Says


McAlister, Nancy, The Florida Times Union


PASADENA, Calif. -- Bill Cosby, never one to mince words,

leveled a few critical ones in the direction of a new fall

sitcom. It happens to be on his own network.

The new show is Public Morals, created by Steven Bochco,

producer of the once-controversial NYPD Blue. The CBS show is

about members of a New York vice squad charged with keeping the

city sleaze-free. Cosby suggested the pilot may be a prime

suspect.

In that first half hour -- which may or may not air as is --

the word "whore" is used at least a dozen times. But what's

drawn most of the criticism is the slang words for lesbians and

male and female anatomy that pepper the script. Cosby called it

pushing the envelope. And he didn't mean that as a compliment.

"I've always had a problem with these new shows," said the

Emmy-winning actor, whose new sitcom Cosby will join the NBC

schedule next month at 8 p.m. on Mondays. "They tried to do that

on The Cosby Show once."

In that instance, the script called for a character to say "And

we're gonna go someplace and kick butt." Cosby informed the

writer that "butt" was not a punchline, nor could it be in a

script.

That, of course, has become common on TV, but Cosby is

concerned that Public Morals is taking it much further.

"They have nine people sitting around a table who call

themselves writers, and the best they can come up with is [the

offending term]! And that's a punchline!"

Cosby implied it was a case of a producer using the audience

"to satisfy some sort of adolescence and immaturity."

"It's important that we try to push the minds of those who've

studied English literature, American literature and try to put

it on television," said Cosby, who's also a best-selling author

and who earned a doctorate in education in 1977.

And Cosby isn't the only one who has expressed an opinion about

the Public Morals pilot. Several CBS affiliates are concerned

about it enough to discuss preempting the show, according to CBS

entertainment chief Leslie Moonves. He called Public Morals a

controversial show that has also prompted questions from

advertisers. Whether the language of the pilot will change

before airtime is under discussion.

Sherry Burns, vice president and general manager of WJXT TV-4,

CBS's Jacksonville affiliate, said she wasn't particularly

comfortable with the pilot of Public Morals , which she saw at

the annual affiliates meeting earlier this year.

"I felt that the language was little strong," she said, adding

that she would welcome it if Bochco decided to tone the show

down.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Cosby Critical of `Public Morals' New Sitcom's Language Is Offensive, He Says
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?