Calling the Decency Police
During an ABC Q&A at Winter TV Press Tour 2007 featuring show runners on some of its scripted series, the subject of the network's Decency Police kept coming up.
"Desperate Housewives'" Marc Cherry said his strangest DP note came during production of the pilot, in which Eva Longoria's character has sex with her 17-year-old gardener. Looking at the post-sex scene, the DP said "does she have to smoke?"
"And I went, 'So, you're good with the statutory rape thing?'"
Jenny Bicks, from "Men in Trees" recalled one recent script in which "I had two 'asses' and one 'crap'."
"I was... told that I could trade an 'ass' for a 'crap' but I couldn't have two 'asses' and the 'crap'."
"This wasn't even the show," joked "Lost's" Damon Lindelof.
"This was last night at the bar," said Cherry.
Lindelof complained "you could say things on 'NYPD Blue' in 1991 that you can no longer say at 10 o'clock in 2007."
"Thank you Janet Jackson," Cherry added. (He forgot to thank Justin Timberlake.)
"The ambiguity of the FCC's position on what constitutes obscenity has really been difficult for all of us because it's made the Standards and Practices department ultra-cautious about risking fines. I think it's hindering us in our abilities to be as fully creative as we would like to be."
"You don't know what I had to go through to get the word 'douchy' in the pilot," "Ugly Betty's" Silvio Horta chimed in.
"Do you guys have the nipple problem?" Cherry asked his colleagues.
"I spend like $100,000 a week taking nipples out of my show because I've got a couple of actresses who refuse to wear bras, and the Standards and Practices go 'Can't see that.' ... then I'll turn on 'Friends' and it's a nipplefest."
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