Country’s broadcast watchdog rules that the word is now so commonplace that it is no longer as vulgar as it once was
It may be still be too blue for English speakers, but authorities in Canada have ruled that the word “fuck” is no longer taboo on French language broadcasts as its use is so commonplace.
The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) had previously classified the word as being suitable only for adults in both French and English, banning its use on radio and television to beyond the evening watershed and even then, only with a warning.
But after complaints from listeners that the French-language Montreal radio station CKOI-FM had twice aired clips with the word this year, it changed its mind in a ruling released Wednesday.
The CBSC agreed with the station’s argument that “fuck” was now “part of the common French spoken language” and therefore does not have “the same vulgar connotations when used in French.”
“The (CBSC) panel emphasises, in this regard, that language is evolutionary and reflects current society,” it said in its decision.
In a following statement it added: “Although the CBSC has previously said that the f-word should not be broadcast on radio during daytime or early evening hours, it established in a previous decision regarding the use of the word in a French-language television program, that using the word “fuck” in French does not have the same vulgar connotation as it does in English.
“If the word is used infrequently and not as an insult towards a particular person, it will be deemed acceptable in the context of French-language programming.”
In the first clip, the singer Madonna could be heard swearing during a women’s march against US President Donald Trump. In the second, Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong could be heard saying it in a concert excerpt.