Should Movie Characters Stop Swearing? F*ck No!
Unless your intended audience is Christian, Republican, or elderly, a new study finds that you should keep swearing.
It’s safe to assume that your grandma won’t be attending the next curse-laden Tarantino flick, but now there’s a study to back that up. And it’s not just the elderly who are turned off by an abundance of ‘fucks.’ A new study conducted by The Harris Poll, which conducts research on diverse American populations, found that the inclusion of certain swear words in your script can be a big turn-off to Republicans and Christians, as well.
In fact, before even the oft-scripted F-word, it’s religiously oriented words that get the greatest opposition: “Jesus Christ,” when used as a profanity, would deter 33% of the general public from seeing the movie if they knew beforehand of its use. The next biggest offenders are “goddamn” at 32% and “fuck” at 31%.
45% of Republicans are thrown off by the occasional “fuck,” as opposed to only 25% of Democrats.
Interestingly, feelings vary along both political and gender lines, too. The study indicates that 37% of females are bothered by a scripted use of “fuck,” whereas the same applies to only 26% of males. The gap between traditionally conservative Republicans and more liberal Democrats is bigger, with 45% of Republicans being thrown off by the occasional “fuck,” as opposed to only 25% of Democrats.
By far the biggest pool of swear-offended viewers identify as Christian. 90% of Evangelical Christians (who comprise about 26% of the U.S. population, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life) say that they would likely avoid a movie that uses “Jesus Christ” as a swear word. Evangelicals also display a much larger distaste for less profane curses like “shit,” “damn,” and “hell” than non-religious audiences do, though none of those words scored above 50%, even among Evangelicals.
Would you consider cutting down on swearing in your films to attract certain audiences? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.