Last night, FX aired the third episode of The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, entitled The Dream Team, which focused on O.J. Simpson's (Cuba Gooding Jr.) powerful legal defense team coming together. Many were quite shocked and surprised when the very last sentence uttered in the episode contained a curse word hardly ever heard on primetime TV. Entertainment Weekly reports that last night's episode may be the first time that "motherf---er" has ever been said on a non-pay channel before midnight.
The last scene of the episode featured Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark going into her backyard in the wee hours of the morning, to read the daily newspaper. On the front page, she finds that the infamous Johnnie L. Cochran (Courtney B. Vance) has joined O.J. Simpson's defense team. Her response to the news was, "Cochran ... motherf-er," as the episode came to end.
While the major broadcast networks - Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and The CW - have FCC regulations in place that prohibit the use of foul language and other indecent acts, basic cable networks like FX can essentially do whatever they want. While they could air scenes featuring nudity and graphic sex acts like one would see on HBO's Game of Thrones, for example, these networks try to aim for PG or PG-13 content in an effort to attract a broader audience. The report also adds that Comedy Central has aired the word "motherf---er" before, but only during its uncensored comedy specials that air after 1 AM. FX has aired episodes where the word "f--k" was said, but never "motherf---er."
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is a limited series that takes you inside the O.J. Simpson trial with a riveting look at the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend of double homicide. Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, it explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD's history with the city's African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
From Executive Producers Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story stars John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, Nathan Lane, Kenneth Choi, Christian Clemenson and Bruce Greenwood. The limited series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has garnered universal acclaim from critics and currently ranks #1 of all series in 2016 on Metacritic with an average score of 90, and is 97% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Take a look at some of the tweets below featuring reactions to the airing of this curse word last night.
Whoa! Just finished watching the new episode of The People vs OJ Simpson on FX and I guess they can say motherfucker on cable tv now! 😂😂— Just Some Dude Steve (@wamixxradiofan) February 17, 2016
Did... did The People v OJ Simpson just break the basic cable "motherfucker" barrier?— blahmanda (@blahmanda) February 17, 2016
The People vs OJ Simpson has been fantastic so far & really creepy &paints a picture but most surprisingly, you can say motherfucker on FX?— John M. (@Mohn_Jichael) February 17, 2016