Parents Group Threatens CBS Over Shatner’s “$#*! My Dad Says”

The announcement of William Shatner’s new sitcom $#*! My Dad Says is only a day old, and already it is stirring up controversy. CBS is touting the show as a "family comedy" and putting it on at 8:30 on Thursdays, but a parents group is denouncing CBS for its choice of title, and has announced a campaign to go after affiliates who air the show and advertisers who sponsor the show.


The $#*! hits the fan

Ever since the it was announced that CBS was considering a sitcom inspired by the popular twitter account @shitmydad says, featuring the profane musings of a curmudgeonly father, there was a question as to what they would call the show. "Shit" is one of words forbidden from broadcast television by the FCC. At one point the show was being called "Bleep My Dad Says", but yesterday CBS officially announced the title would be "$#*! My Dad Says", with the "$#*!" part bleeped out in any network promos. You can see that in action with the behind the scenes preview released yesterday (below).

Even though the word "shit" will never be heard, the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group which professes to be the "nation’s most influential advocacy organization protecting children against sex, violence, and profanity on television", issued a denouncement today against CBS stating:

CBS intentionally chose to insert an expletive into the actual name of a show, and, despite its claim that the word will be bleeped, it is just CBS’ latest demonstration of its contempt for families and the public.  There are an infinite number of alternatives that CBS could have chosen but its desire to shock and offend is crystal clear in this decision

The PTC is also promising to take action if CBS does not change the name of the show, vowing an "unrelenting campaign" against the advertisers and any affiliates that air the show before 10 PM.

CBS contends that the show is suitable for family viewing and responded to PTC in a statement:

The program is inspired by the wildly popular Twitter phenomenon, which now has more than 1.5 million followers and also has spawned a best-selling book of the same name. It will in no way be indecent and will adhere to all CBS standards. Parents who choose to do so will find the show can easily be blocked using their V Chip.

It is hard to say at this point if the PTC campaign will have any affect. Media expert Brad Agate tells THR "Certain marketers won’t have a problem with it and some may be a little bit skittish".

In an interview with Zap2It yesterday, Shatner discussed how you can’t say the real name of the show on TV “only think it”. Watch that below



Star Trek and controversy

The Star Trek franchise is no stranger to controversy and dealing with groups concerned about how the various shows were undermining the morality of children and society. Some episodes in particular garnered complaints or even some stations holding broadcasts or altering them to make them more acceptable. Famous examples are the interracial kiss in TOS "Plato’s Stepchildren", the graphic violence in TNG’s "Conspiracy",  the same sex kiss in DS9’s "Rejoined" and T’Pol’s butt in ENT’s "Harbinger".

Star Trek has run into it’s own controversies over the years

Gene Roddenberry often had to deal with issues of keeping his TV shows in line with FCC guidelines. On a track from his album "Inside Star Trek" Roddenberry spoofs the what it was like dealing with network censors, listen to it below.


POLL: Give a $#*! about Shat’s show?

So what say you? Will you be following Shatner to the sitcom frontier?



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The Shat needs to tell these overly straight laced people to “Get a Life”!

the graphic violence in TNG’s “Conspiracy” ??? Really?

I’m a Christian Conservative, and I approve this show… As long as it does not get to raunchy with the sex jokes.

The biggest little secret of the Parents Television Council is that it’s only a few members. Really, they’/re so small that even the FCC doesn’t take them seriously.

And like Seth McFarlane (creator of Family Guy) says, receiving criticism from them is “like getting hate mail from Hitler.” You can’t say that guy’s not blunt.

CBS is digging a hole for itself on this issue. Uh … exactly HOW is the network going to promote the actual name of this series in its own TV ads? And, I’ve read the CBS press where the network is pushing the concept of “family show” for this program but, y’know, that idea just doesn’t fit with the title. Come up with a better title, and the “family show” description would clearly be accurate and would cause no objection from anybody … and CBS would actually be able to, you know, SAY the show’s title during on-air promos.

And how is anybody on radio supposed to say the title of this series? That’s also going to be a hurdle in promoting it.

I’m not eager to have my 7-year-old kid in the room when the title of Shatner’s program comes on my TV and I get asked “What’s that word mean?”

I have to admit that scene in TNG was shocking.

I think the only way to get it passed censors was to have “Remek” not be completely human. It reminds me of a scene from Robocop..Fans of robocop know which scene I’m referring to. “Don’t touch me man!!”

The TNG episode ” Symbiosis” comes to mind as contraversial as well regarding narcotics.

It’s not a word.. it’s symbols. They are really just wild cards so make up any word. CRAP, STUPID.. whatever. Re-interrupt it for whatever fits your family’s need. Seriously, it’s not that hard.

Or how about this, if you don’t agree with it. DON’T WATCH IT! Turn the channel! I mean really is this to hard of a concept for people who are offended by something?

I understand cbs position-besides they paid to base the show on the tweet site with the popular title-maybe change title to shat my dad says heh

I understand the the motives of the PTC, but in this case they are wrong. I would imagine that anything on MTV these days is more deserving of their attention. Like how “Jersey Shore” features people acting like jerks and guys punching women in the face. But that’s just me.

And I’ll say this yet again: There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the word SHIT! Nobody complains about “poo” or “crap”, so why is there still people offended by “shit” when it has the same definition as “crap” and “poo”?

And obviously there are a lot of people who don’t know how to use a remote to change the channel when they see something they don’t like.

As for the PTC, while their motives are honest, they also shouldn’t be under the illusion that they speak for everybody. They don’t.

They’re calling it a family comedy, not a family-friendly comedy. There’s a big difference there!

Go ahead and protest, PTC. Just like every other high-profile protest, they will only bring publicity to the show. And as a fan of ‘The Shat.’ that’s something I will never complain about!

An “unrelenting campaign”? Is that like “the mother of all battles”? Free tip for parents: turn off the TV when something you don’t want your kids to see comes on. Unless your TV is “stuck” powered on and tuned to CBS and none of the buttons work and the power cord has fused with the wall outlet, I don’t think this should be too much of a burden for you. ‘

#5: Re: “Symbiosis”, not so much. The episode was vehemently anti-drug from start to finish, so what was there for the type of people who get offended by such things to be offended by?

As for “Conspiracy”, yeah, that was MAJOR nightmare fuel when I was 6 years old. I’ve gotten over it in the intervening years.

I think it is a stupid title, but I don’t think it’s worth reacting so strongly. Why not just say like “crazy stuff my dad says” or “Things My dad says” “My dad says crazy stuff” Ok, maybe that isn’t the best of titles, but it could have been reworded. And at least it is bleeped out or replaced by symbols.
And yes, there are a lot more things in the media to complain about besides this.

As for the other stuff they talk about, I was probably 15 or so when I saw the kirk/uhura kiss, so was not anthing to even think about to me. I think Remek blowing up was pretty cool actually. I didn’t care much for the episode with Dax and her past hosts lover. I think that was just a way for “how can we have 2 chicks kiss and explain it?” And as far as T’pol being naked, I though that was pretty stupid too. Give me a good plot line and some action, not T’pol’s butt.

And is anyone else offended by that recording of Roddenberry?

Oh please, there are worse things in a world to cause a stir over. It’s TV, and there are plenty of worse things for a kid to watch. If parents are concerned, don’t let them watch it. Besides, anyone who’s not old enough to face the ever-so-fearsome censored expletive should be asleep before 8:30pm anyway.

Long live this show, long live the Shat!

And a nice touch with Star Trek controversy – those episodes and many more can fit in. It’s a nice touch.

Stuff My Dad Says…. see… easy, Just tell your kids thats what it says.
Stupid ass people get all butt hurt over the stupidest things.

how ridiculous. CBS should have called it Stuff My Dad Says and then they’d not have these weirdos harassing them.

I’m a parent, and I can’t wait for this show!

Yeah, I wondered how they were going to do that. And I’d forgotten about T’Pol’s rear end. Wow!

Well, shat my mouth….

Dad’s say the darndest things?

The Parents Television Council cranks out press releases like lonely fans used to crank out fanzines: Lot’s of them, with poor quality, and no resemblance to reality. It’s former head, L.Brent Bozell, is the son of the former speechwriter for Sen. Joseph McCarthy, of all people, so he learned how to smear and distort the truth at his father’s knee, all in the name of “doing what’s right”. The organization, and it’s leadership, care nothing about quality or truth, and everything about getting publicity and screaming “the sky is falling”, with about the same level of intellectual scope.

In other words, they, and their message, is pretty much worthless, and not of use to anyone AT ALL…. and best ignored completely, so they’ll dry up and blow away….

The only time that I found Trek offensive was the stuff going on between Trip and T’pol. Not that it wasn’t hot- it was! But because it was just cynically done to garner ratings. But then I guess thats why sex is usually used!
As for that clip- dammit and s*’! i can’t view it in the UK. It makes me wana curse out loud!

So this council wants to protect everyone from a word they hear in everyday life? Idiots.

This family message is brought to you by Ted Haggard, Roy Ashburn and George Rekers

I just don’t get all the hand-wringing. “My kid’s going to have questions.” Yeah? So? Answer them. That’s a parent’s job. Be glad if they ask you and not some kid on the playground. If a parent thinks their child will be severely traumatized from hearing the word “shit”, they might want to take a long look at their parenting style.

I don’t advocate gratuitous profanity; but, I for one, don’t look forward to explaining the words “war” or “famine” or “murder” to my kids. Those words are truly profane.

Hi, I am from Germany and don’t know too much about American television. I have got a question: Is it really a problem, when somebody says “shit” on TV? I mean, it’s not such a “hard” word. There are many more words with let’s say more sexual content. And in Germany there often isn’t a problem with saying them as well. I really would like to know.
I mean it’s the same with naked butts or kisses between two women or two men. You can see them all the day on tv, no matter which time of the day.



That would surely have been obvious. If they didn’t think that title was going to offend anyone then they have their heads stuck in a bucket.

Here’s the thing with swearing. If the show is good then having a title without swearing won’t lose one person who doesn’t care.

On the other hand…

I would have thought appealing to the largest market would have been the goal.

If it’s just intended as cheap marketing ploy for initial notice then i think that is a pure insult and lack of acknowledgment to the sheer audience pulling power of William Shatner.

I remember how confusing the ending of Conspiracy was when I first saw it: the BBC cut the ending of the episode, so we see Picard and Riker shoot at Remek, then cut to Picard’s captain’s log.

Great scene, though! I was disappointed we never got as gory again, although the Borg’s first appearance was downright creepy!

It is obvious CBS chose this title FOR the controversy (and thus interest) it would generate – now they have to deal with that….

Bill reminds me of my dad (RIP). Count me in!

The offending word in the title is never going to be said – It will just be a bleep sound. And the word will not appear either.

I like Roddenberry’s cynicism of the censors.

Why is GR’s name in quotation marks?

If the PTC has their way, they can always rename the show to “Shat: My Dad Says”. ;)

Well, any publicity is good publicity….

Follwing the Big Bang Theory, I really don’t think promotion is going to be a problem. The whole thing is absurd. Are they going to form a newspaper group and launch a campaign against comic strips next? Lord knows we can’t have Beetle Bailey’s Sarge yelling $@!!&!….it’s just so offensive!

This show sounds like high concept sh**, but really as the Shat said “Get a life!” Some of these same people wouldn’t bat an eye their kid watching violence or playing a violent video game, but they flip out over a bleeped out expletive. Granted swearing is overused as an attention getter, but you can’t shelter your kid forever. If you don’t like it vote with the dial. Truly, get a life. There are a lot bigger issues that should be getting people batsh** out there than piffle like this.

@32 – I like it ;)

Just watched the preview thing, and I for sure will try and catch that show. It looks awesome!

Okay, so I’m a bit off base as I missed the part over the PTC and violence, but as for many parents who get upset by this piffle, I stand by my statement. I’m shocked by what is often okay and goes without restriction, while parents get all loco about stuff like this.

South Park said SHIT uncensored HOW MANY times? in one episode… well over 100. They did it to show that the more times you say something the less it means.

PTC should go over to England and watch TV for awhile.

Pfffft- anyone with a website and 10 bucks to put out a press release can protest whatever they feel like. Boring.

If these “social watchdogs” believe that simply keeping the poor, innocent children from seeing or hearing a so called bad word on TV will keep them safe, they must have a SHITstorm (ha, see what I did there?) whenever their kids go out into real life (like in their own households, school, the bus stop, stores, etc). I mean, life has all sorts of bad things. Children get exposed to these things because, hey, IT’S LIFE. I can promise you every single child has heard profanity a dozen times a day (at least). Please, these folks beed to get off their high horses before they fall off… and into shit.

Too bad it couldnt be called Shat My Dad Says…although I’m sure that line’s already been mentioned

well they better go with SHAT my dad says as I said a few days back….just makes sense!….make it so

“Felgercarb My Dad Says” just doesn’t have the same ring.
Oh wait, wrong franchise. ;-)

#42 several hundred times since the show was announced. ;-)
It doesn’t get any funnier either.

@13 – No.

The world will be such a better place to live in when people quit living in fear of words.


13. Capt.Roykirk –
“And is anyone else offended by that recording of Roddenberry?”

Exactly what is there to be offended about? Everything he mentions IS in the Bible, it’s not like he’s making anything up. Good point made by GR concerning the double standards of these type of organizations.

I think this whole thing is ridiculous. “Shit” is a very harmless word and as pointed out, it’s not even mentioned.

Btw, did the PTC ever complain about the term “frack” being used in Battlestar Galactica?

^38. South Park doesn’t have to deal with the FCC’s indecency standards. The FCC can only regulate indecency on broadcast TV because the radio spectrum is licensed public property. Basic cable usually mimics broadcast standards but only for commercial reasons, to be non-controversial and not scare advertisers.