A US anti-profanity crusader has asked the ABC television network to pull this week's Modern Family episode in which a toddler appears to use a bleeped curse word.
"Our main goal is to stop this from happening," McKay Hatcher, an 18-year-old college student who founded the No Cussing Club in 2007, said. "If we don't, at least ABC knows that people all over the world don't want to have a two-year-old saying the 'F-bomb' on TV."
"We hope they know better," said Hatcher. He's asking his club's members, whom he said number 35,000 in the United States and about three-dozen in other countries, to complain to ABC.
ABC has yet to respond, he said. The network had no comment, a spokeswoman said.
In the episode titled Little Bo Bleep airing on Wednesday night in the US, two-year-old Lily shocks parents Mitchell and Cameron (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet) with her first expletive.
The dads, who are preparing Lily to serve as flower girl in a wedding, now have an added parenting challenge.
The tot is played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who says the word "fudge" during taping. It will be bleeped on the air and her mouth will be obscured by pixilation, and viewers will get the impression that her character used the actual F-word.
Steven Levitan, creator and executive producer of the TV comedy with Christopher Lloyd, told the Television Critics Association that he's "proud and excited" about the plotline.
"We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we've all been through this," Levitan said to EW.com. "We are not a sexually charged show. It has a very warm tone so people accept it more. I'm sure we'll have some detractors."
The programme was named best musical or comedy series at Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony.