The King’s Speech: Better without the F-Word

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One can only wonder why the director of The King’s Speech chose to include scenes in which Colin Firth, the actor who played King George VI, repetitively utters the ‘F-word’ during sessions with a speech therapist.

In the first place, I would be mildly surprised if the real King George VI actually used the ‘F-word’ during therapy sessions. But even if he did use it, what necessary or important purpose did it serve to repetitively repeat the word in this film?

The repetitive use of the ‘F-word’ word is undoubtedly what earned the film an ‘R-rating;’ and for the life of me, I can’t understand why the powers behind this excellent film chose to have it rated ‘R.’ The ‘R-rating’ guarantees that the audience for The King’s Speech will be less than it otherwise would be and also guarantees that many children who would benefit from seeing the film will not see it.

Had King George VI actually used the ‘F-word’ repetitively during speech therapy sessions, the intelligent compromise would have been to bleep the words so that younger children would not hear them and older children would understand that uttering the ‘F-word’ is inappropriate, even for adults. The film would then have been rated PG-13.

Another question that comes to mind is this, ‘Would the director have chosen to have his King repetitively utter another ‘f-word’ — namely, fagot — had the real King George VI actually used that highly offensive word during speech sessions?’ I don’t think so.

On a positive note, today’s Daily News (‘Oscar Glory Fit for ‘King”) reported that the powers behind the TV production of last night’s live Oscar Awards program had the good sense to bleep the ‘F-word’ when it came out of the mouth of yet another Hollywood celebrity whose mother apparently never washed her mouth out with soap.

Perhaps a sense of decency isn’t completely dead in broadcasting after all.

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