In the age where rappers rarely make clean versions of songs for radio play (what’s a music video?), censorship done got funny. No more so than on the cable channels airing movies that have been edited and formatted for television. The FCC needs to do better with how they switch out cussin’, though. I’m not sure what they used to do, but I know they need to do something about movies like Showgirls and Jerry Maguire.
I had people over one night while in college and Showgirls came on one of the basic cable channels. No one was actually watching it but the digital bra caught my eye and I couldn’t believe it. Seriously? Animated (poorly, I might add) bikinis to cover Elizabeth Berkley’s boobies was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen.
But if you ever get your hands on the edited version of Jerry Maguire, that’s the absolute best. In the scene when Cuba and Regina are renegotiating contract features, Tom says a number that Regina ain’t feelin’ one bit. Her eyebrows come together as if they are throwing up the “W” from Shaolin’s finest. She rises to her feet, points directly at Tom and says, in the voice of a much larger man, “This is some bullabullush!” They paid some dude with more bass in his voice than Tom or Cuba combined to say the word bullabullush into a microphone so that it could be used to replace a profanity. I rented the movie (on VHS) and for some reason, there was a censored version in the case. When I heard the exultation, I laughed harder than I did at the “Dr. Black” line in the Simpsons episode when Bart goes to Kamp Krusty.
The innocence of that kind of censorship is something I randomly reflect on as I age–just brought in the big three five the other day.