First Contact Censorship?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by R. Star, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    I was watching First Contact on SyFy today, well had it running in the background anyways. I get they're going to censor a bit of the cursing, blow up the damn ship, to hell with the Phoenix, things like that.

    Well what did surprise me is they bleeped out Cocharane's "Sweet Jesus!" when the Enterprise started following the Phoenix.

    I mean... come on. Is our society becoming so "politically correct" that we can't even -mention- something mildly religious in public now? Really that's just sad.
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    Sitting on a cornflake.
    I just finished their broadcast of TVH and they left in all of Spock's "hells" in his conversation with Gillian about the whales. Of course bleeping those would ruin the joke. FC just started to I'll listen for the edits.
  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 4, 2005
    It's not surprising. Professor Farnsworth's "Sweet Zombie Jesus!" gets edited out as well.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Actually you've got it backward. Bleeping out oaths like that and "G*ddamn" is done to protect the sensibilities of Christians who would find them blasphemous. After all, that would be using the Lord's name in vain, which violates the Third Commandment. It's also using the name disrespectfully, as a swear word, which is hardly properly religious.

    And it's hardly a new trend. From a 1927 set of movie censorship guidelines:
    Ditto the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930: "The name of Jesus Christ should never be used except in reverence."
  5. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2012
    It was only a couple of years ago that I noticed "faggot" was bleeped out of 'Money for Nothing'...even though Dire Straits are being completly ironic.
  6. boobatuba

    boobatuba Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 19, 2007
    Pointing out restrictions in using the name "Jesus" in film-making guides from over 80 years ago is really stretching the point.

    The movie is made. The references are there. What we are talking about here is SyFy's reason for editing them selectively. This is nothing new for the company that now owns SyFy. Google "SyFy censorship" for a plethora of examples. You should see what they've done to the lesbian relationship in "Lost Girl."
  7. BriGuy

    BriGuy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 29, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    I find it incredibly funny that the reference in the movie was removed to prevent offending, and in doing so someone took offense.

  8. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2012
    I think it's funny that my first exposure to Monty Python was on....PBS.
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    It's still there on both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film. I don't waste time with SyFy.
  10. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 18, 1999
    This is why it would be a good idea to have a constitutional article guaranteeing free speech.
  11. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    the Frozen Wastes
    Not anywhere else except the USA.
  12. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 28, 2005
    Christopher is right to correct the OP though, SyFy's reasoning in this case is nothing to do with avoiding the mention of religion, but rather avoiding offending the sensibilities of the sort of Christian who might get upset by blasphemy. I'm sure they didn't have those particular guidelines in mind when they did it, but in this case they did it for the same reason the guidelines were written.

    Not sure what point you are trying to make? I am sure you are aware that the USA has a constitution that makes such a provision, but it cannot force a private TV company to broadcast material they don't want to, and nor should it.
  13. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 21, 2011
    The Black Country, England
    But what if the 'offending' phrase isn't actually being incorrectly used ? Maybe the character is genuinely imploring the deity of their choice to damn someone ?
  14. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    Yeah, that's exactly what I was going to mention.

    But good on R.Star for blaming it on "political correctness", which of course is just a buzzword that means "those godless liberals". Swing and a miss, buddy.
  15. Balrog

    Balrog Commodore Commodore

    Jan 12, 2008
    That's nothing. The Family Channel took out the word "terrorists" during the scene Marty writes Doc a letter in Back to the Future.
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    It would depend on the context, I suppose. If it were a priest delivering a sermon about how God would damn sinners, then it might be allowed.

    This is similar to how the original Star Trek handled "hell" and "damn." They were able to use "Hell" as a reference to the underworld on several occasions: "I'll chase you to the very fires of Hell!" in "The Alternative Factor," "It is better to rule in Hell than serve in heaven" in "Space Seed," and "They say there's no devil, but there is. Right out of Hell, I saw it!" in "The Doomsday Machine." They were even able to use "Hell for leather, right out of history" in "Spectre of the Gun," because it was a descriptive phrase, not an expletive. But they had to fight the network censors to be allowed to have Kirk say "Let's get the hell out of here" at the end of "City on the Edge of Forever." (Chakoteya's transcript of "A Piece of the Action" claims that Krako says "How the hell'd I get here" after being beamed aboard the Enterprise, but it sounds to me like "Ho-how di--how'd I get here?") By the same token, they were able to use "damn" literally as a verb -- "The evidence... was damning" in "Court-martial" and "I can't damn him for his loyalty" in "Journey to Babel" -- but never as an expletive or curse. Context is key.
  17. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 2, 2002
    I was watching an episode of The Untouchables last night from 1959. At the end of the episode, Nehemiah Persoff is on the floor yelling at Robert Stack (Eliot Ness), "You have no damn heart! You have no damn heart!" All I could think was "wow, how did that stay in there?" I guess if the high body count of the series was okay at the time, then so was this…
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Heck, even Disney could get away with "hell" if it was used literally. The theme song for "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh," which originally aired on Disney's prime-time anthology series back in 1963, featured a lyric about how the Scarecrow "rides from the gates of Hell!"

    And that was considered a "family" show.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
  20. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

    Jul 5, 2006
    Left Bank
    It was most likely edited for TV when it came out 17 years ago and hasn't been updated sense.