In accepting her Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as the matriarch in “Brothers and Sisters”, Sally Field delivered an impassioned tribute to mothers everywhere in a message that spoke of world peace.
Unfortunately, it was too much for the censors at Fox who cut Field’s comments at a critical point.
The video above is from the Canadian broadcast that aired the speech unedited. The nannies at Fox snipped the remarks for U.S. viewers as Field said, “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any…” The expunged ending of the sentence was, “god-damned wars in the first place.” Was it because Fox thinks that Americans are just too fragile to be exposed to such fiery language? Was it because they were seeking to suppress legitimate dissent in a public forum? Tom O’Neil at the Los Angeles Times reports that it may not have been a matter of shielding the network from liability for broadcasting an obscenity:
“Technically, Field’s censored words are not profane. A 2004 FCC ruling specifically stated no objection to the use of “god damn” on TV when making a judgment on the uproar over Bono swearing at the Golden Globes in 2003 where he used more colorful language.”
Backstage, Field spoke with reporters and responded to the controversy that was already swirling:
“I have no comment other than, ‘Oh, well.’ I said what I wanted to say. I wanted to pay homage to the mothers of the world. And I very, very seriously think that if mothers ruled the world we wouldn’t be sending our children off to be slaughtered.” […] “If they bleep it, oh, well. I’ll just say it somewhere else.”
This is the second instance of Emmy censorship this season, following Kathy Griffin’s remarks a night earlier when, mocking award winners who give credit to God for their victory, Griffin said that, “…no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.” Isn’t it interesting that in both occurrences of a clampdown on free speech, a reference to God was a key factor?