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Why Nobody Should Care About ‘SNL’ Slip

Jenny Slate makes an oopsie, uses the F-word by mistake. Let the manufactured controversy begin!

UPDATE: It turns out NBC allows "Saturday Night Live" to broadcast completely live, without any sort of time delay. So, apologies to the Peacock’s standards department. They couldn’t have stopped the use of the f-word on the east coast version of "SNL."

 

NBC’s standards and practices department must have been taking a coffee break early Sunday, since it allowed an inadvertent "f—" to hit the airwaves during a "Saturday Night Live" sketch.

During a bit dubbed "Biker Chick Chat," new featured player Jenny Slate accidentally said "f—." Her character’s dialogue was sprinkled with the word "frickin’," but at one point, Slated subbed "f–king." East coast viewers witnessed this breach in broadcast decorum live; viewer in the west saw a version in which Slate says "frickin’" (it wasn’t immediately clear if NBC has very good dubbing technology or if "SNL" used video from the dress rehearsal).

 

Technically, NBC should be chill with the FCC. That’s because Slate’s allegedly obscene proclamation was uttered a bit after 12:30 a.m.– very much in the FCC’s so-called "safe harbor," which allows dirty words after 10 p.m. Three observations about this non-controversy:

 

–Slate’s slip occurred on a night when U2 was "SNL’s" musical guest. Ironically, NBC is still fighting FCC harassment over U2 singer Bono’s use of the f-word during the 2003 Golden Globes.

 

–We assume NBC broadcasts "SNL" on a time-delayed basis. Given how clear Slate’s mess-up is, why didn’t someone in Peacock standards and practices hit the bleep button? Seriously, WTF, NBC? (See update above.)

 

–Finally, Slate’s slip-up was all over YouTube within minutes. There’s no telling how many kids under 18 saw the mistake (assuming anyone under 18 still really cares about "SNL"). The fact that kids everywhere can easily hear an f-word foul-up on the Internet– not to mention far, far worse things that even the most sophisticated blocking technology can’t stop– demonstrates just how lame any controversy which erupts from this incident is. It’s 2009, and we still have a government agency ready to investigate an actress using a four-letter word at 12:30 in the morning, even though such language is all over the Net (not to mention every schoolhouse in America).

 

Now that’s f–ked up. Check out Slate’s mistake below: