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'Modern Family' F-word episode stirs debate

Ferguson and Anderson-Emmons in a scene from 'Modern Family.'

January 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An anti-profanity crusader has asked ABC to pull Wednesday's episode of "Modern Family" in which a toddler appears to use a bleeped curse word.

In the episode, a 2-year-old appears to use a curse word, that's bleeped.

In the episode titled "Little Bo Bleep," the tot playing Lily appears to say the F-word. In actuality, the tot, who is played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, says the word "fudge" during the taping. The plan is to bleep the word on the air with her mouth obscured by pixilation so that viewers will get the impression that her character used the actual F-word.

McKay Hatch, who founded the No Cussing Club, wants the network to at least realize people are uncomfortable with the idea of a toddler using profanity.

Hatch says ABC should set a better example.

So far, ABC is not commenting on the issue.

The show's creator and executive producer Steven Levitan told the Television Critics Association last week that he's "proud and excited" about the F-word plotline.

"We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we've all been through this," Levitan said to EW.com. "We are not a sexually charged show. It has a very warm tone so people accept it more. I'm sure we'll have some detractors."

Hatch, who is from South Pasadena and attends Brigham Young University in Rexburg, Idaho, said he began his anti-profanity club in 2007 when he noticed how rampant cursing was at his school and how it was linked to bullying.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.