Tom Hanks brought a little drama to ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday, October 19, when he uttered an expletive during a live interview.
The 56-year-old Oscar winner, known for a slew of family-friendly hit films such as "Big" and "Forrest Gump," said the "F-word" while talking to guest co-host Elizabeth Vargus about his newest movie, "Cloud Atlas." Both immediately apologized afterwards on the air.
"Man, oh man!" he said. "I'm sorry, I slipped into a brand of acting. I have never done that before. I would apologize to the kids in America that are watching this right now and let me say next time on the show, there will be a 7-second delay."
"Never give me a hand-held mic, that's all," he added and joked: "I blame the staff. I blame the staff. Man, oh man."
During the interview, which first aired live on the East Coast around 8:30 a.m. ET, Hanks was trying to demonstrate the many accents he has in the movie, which sees him play six different characters. He said that one of the dialects consisted "mostly" of "swear words."
"We are so sorry 'Good Morning America,'" Vargas said.
During the delayed West Coast broadcast of "GMA," whose studio interviews are filmed in New York City, the actor's expletive was muted. He later also apologized on Twitter, saying: "For GMA, spesh kowtow for Lizzie V for WHAT DID I JUST SAY??? Oops! In character! Sorry! Hanx."
It is unclear if the Federal Communications Commission, which has in the past fined TV networks for airing what it considers indecent content during daytime hours, will take action against "Good Morning America."
In June, the Supreme Court ruled against the FCC's policies regarding broadcast indecency, which were toughened after Janet Jackson exposed her breast briefly during her performance at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, saying that the group did not give TV networks enough notice about potential sanctions regarding "fleeting expletives and momentary nudity."
The watchdog group The Parents Television Council said in a statement to OTRC.com that it is "calling out 'Good Morning America' for allowing the f-word to slip through unedited.'"
"Once again, a morning news show has allowed the harshest profanity to be broadcast into every living room and breakfast table in the country," PTC director of public policy Dan Isett said.
"This is just another in a long, sad string of similar instances where all of the major network morning shows have permitted this inappropriate and offensive content," he added." These cannot and must not be dismissed as 'mistakes,' and it's time for the networks to step up, take responsibility for what they broadcast, and ensure that this never happens again."
"CLOUD ATLAS" IS "EPIC"
"Cloud Atlas" is based on a 2004 book by David Mitchell. It consists six interconnected stories, including that of a journalist who investigates alleged corruption at a nuclear power plant in 1975 and a tribesman living a primitive life in a post-apocalyptic future.
"This is what always happens in each one of the stories - somebody says, 'You're going against the status quo. There was a natural order of things. The white people are free, the black people are slaves. You can't change that! You can't change it,'" Hanks said on "GMA." "And every one of the stories, either in the past or in the future is essentially making that same argument."
"I think it's epic motion picture," he said, joking: "This is an extraordinary motion picture that luckily I'm only in about a third, so that every time I see it, I see that stuff that I'm not in."
"Cloud Atlas" is rated R by the MPAA for violence, language, sexuality, nudity and some drug use. Hanks' co-stars include the likes of Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant. "Cloud Atlas" hits theaters on October 26 and was directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and his sister Lana Wachowski. Andy and Lana, who was born Lawrence and underwent a sex change to become a woman, had helmed the hit "Matrix" trilogy, which also starred Weaving.
"They took what could have been an impossible aspect of making the movie - how can you cast 49 people in this? - and say, 'No, no, we're going to tie these characters together schematically as though the evolution of their souls and every part that they play impacts the next one and makes a comment on what their growth is, or, in the case of Hugh Grant, how much more evil they become,'" Hanks said about "Cloud Atlas," adding: "And Hugh Grant is an evil, evil, evil dude."