I came across an interesting quote from Miley Cyrus about what is and is not allowed to be said and shown in the media. While Cyrus has been questioned about some of her own choices in the media recently, what she has to say about what is and isn’t said or shown in the media brings up an important topic for debate.
In the quote, Cyrus questions why certain words cannot be said on television, but TV shows, like the wildly popular Breaking Bad, are allowed to show illegal behavior. Cryus also makes a good point in criticizing her own behavior. She says. “It’s like when they bleeped out ‘molly’ at the [MTV Video Music Awards]. Look what I’m doing up here right now, and you’re going to bleep out ‘molly’?”
I think Cyrus raises a really important question: Why does our society deem certain words as wrong, but actions seem to be socially acceptable? According to the Federal Communications Commission, they define profanity as “including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.”
If you look at many reality television shows, like Jersey Shore for an example, they capitalize on young adults in the party scene. I personally know many people who find this show, along with other television shows, offensive. But as long as the profanities that they yell almost every other word are bleeped out (which most of the time you can read their lips and know what they’re saying), the show is allowed to run on air at any time of the day.
Now I’m not saying that all shows with material that the public could see as offensive to be pulled from the air. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be too much left on television, plus it would bring up a lot of issues about our First Amendment rights. But it does make me want to research more about censorship in the media, and wonder if in our lifetime censorship laws will change.