Broadcast of F-Word in Song on Morning Radio Violates Code, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Broadcast of F-Word in Song on Morning Radio Violates Code, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, July 11, 2018 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning the Crash & Mars morning show on CKNO-FM (NOW! Radio, Edmonton) on January 24, 2018. A song containing the f-word was broadcast just after 8:00 am. The CBSC found a breach of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics.

During the morning show, the hosts were discussing trashy wedding songs and someone mentioned an online video of a woman leaving her wedding to the song “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry. The hosts then commented that their co-host was trying to edit out all the f-words before playing the song. When they did play the song, all but two instances of the f-word were edited out. The hosts joked that they had 90% succeeded and that hopefully the audience would mistake the word “fuck” for “rock”.

The CBSC received a complaint from a listener who was primarily concerned about the use of the word “bitch” in the song. The station noted that the song is not in its usual playlist, but had been relevant to that day’s discussion.

The CBSC’s English-Language Panel examined the complaint under Clause 9(c) of the CAB Code of Ethics which relates to coarse and offensive language on radio. The Panel noted the CBSC’s previous decision on this song, in which it found that the word “bitch” was acceptable at any time of day; as long as all f-words were edited out, the song could therefore be played at any time of day. Given that the station failed to edit out all instances of the word “fuck”, the station breached the code. The Panel also noted that the hosts had the opportunity to apologize for the coarse language following the song, but instead chose to make light of the situation.

The CBSC was created in 1990 by Canada’s private broadcasters to administer the codes of standards that they established for their industry. The CBSC currently administers 5 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence. Around 800 radio stations, satellite radio services, conventional and discretionary television services across Canada participate in the Council.

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All CBSC decisions, codes, and related information are available on the CBSC’s website at . For more information, please contact CBSC Chair, Sylvie Courtemanche, at scourtemanche@cbsc.ca or by telephone at 613-233-4607.