4 Comments

Censorship.

One of the enjoyable things about having a forced day off from work is that you can sleep a little later than usual and then wake yourself up at your own pace. I choose to do this by spinning around the television dial to see what shows are on. I don’t plant myself in front of the television all day watching game shows such as “Sale of the Century” or “Wheel of Fortune” but I do catch a sitcom or two as I do a few of the mundane chores.

This morning I clicked the remote and ended up on “Golden Girls” on Hallmark Channel. Hallmark Channel bought the syndication rights last year sometime when Lifetime dropped (or forgot to renew) their rights to broadcast the show and in the process the made a really big deal about it. Hallmark Channel tends to broadcast very safe, family friendly programming, so I was a little surprised when they decided to show “Golden Girls” because back in it’s day the show was a little edgy.

I wouldn’t be a gay man of the 80s and 90s if I didn’t know my “Golden Girls” episodes so I know that Hallmark has done a lot of slicing and dicing of the episodes to make room for more ad revenue. Lifetime did the same thing during their run, but Hallmark is showing completely re-edited shows. The only good thing about this run is that they are showing the proper credits for the season the particular episode is from.

Now I have mentioned before that I have spotted some dialogue editing in some episodes. The editing mentioned in the linked blog entry irritated me but I let it slide. Well today I spotted another one that pissed me off to the point that I have decreed that Hallmark Channel will not be watched in this house again.

The episode in question is #52, “Old Friends”. Originally broadcast on September 19, 1987, the story features a young girl named Daisy. In trying to make friends with the young girl, Blanche mistakenly gives her Rose’s treasured teddy bear to her. This crushes innocent Rose and realising a gold mine, Daisy holds the bear for ransom. As Blanche tries to explain the problem, the normally always pleasant Rose becomes irritated and tells Blanche, “cut the crap and get back my friggin’ bear.”

Hallmark silenced out ‘crap’ and ‘friggin’’. The covered the whole line with a very out of place and very loud laugh track. The line is funny but it’s not roll-down-the-studio-aisle funny by any stretch of the imagination.

What irritates me is that the line made it past NBC network censors in 1987. It’s not like Rose exploded with a “what the fuck? Cut the shit and get my bear back, bitch!!”

Here’s the thing. I understand that Hallmark Channel owns the rebroadcasting rights to “Golden Girls” and I guess can do whatever they want with it. I have no issue with that. That’s how the U.S. works. However, I do NOT believe that the artistic integrity of a program that has already been broadcasted continuously for the past 20+ years should be edited to make the show conform to the moral standards of the channel. If you don’t like the content of the show, then don’t purchase the rights, don’t broadcast it. If I were to put out a record with some questionable lyrics and expected airplay, I wouldn’t want some radio station changing my lyrics just to suit their needs if the song had already been deemed broadcast safe.

I understand Hallmark Channel is trying to broadcast programming they consider “family safe”. I get that. If they were true to their word and beliefs, then they shouldn’t broadcast “Golden Girls” at all if they find some of the content to be objectionable. But apparently, based on the frequency in which they broadcast the program, they are making a LOT of money on the show.

I guess they’re money whores.

4 Comments

  1. You are certainly doing the right thing by outlawing the Hallmark channel from your home. You may be able to program your TV to skip that channel entirely so you don’t accidentally surf onto it.

  2. Crap and friggin? They are worried about that? Oh boy. I am reminded of when we actually saw Bea Arthur in her One Woman Show and she chatted about the early days of censorship — they would meet on Monday morning to read through the script and change words that were inappropriate before the filming later in the week.

  3. Apparently they’re doing the same to Cheers. They edited Woody saying the word ‘vomit’ but left in ‘heave.’ Neither of them seem to be offensive, but I thought the first was the proper medical term?

  4. Amen! I too am tired of Hallmark Channel slicing to bits episodes that already aired on NBC. American TV already has stringent censorship thanks to Standards and Practices. Why does Hallmark Channel have to cut out dialogue that really isn’t offensive in the first place. What puritanical bastards!

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