That's right, one of the US's most successful, talented and beloved actors, Tom Hanks, dropped the F-bomb, out and loud and heavily accented, on ABC's 'Good Morning America'. No, there has been no massacre, nor any kind of small adorable, baby animal injured- which is what one might assume from the utter, OTT outrage that swept the nation in response to his minor, fleeting faut pas.
Tom Hanks was on the show to promote his new movie Cloud Atlas, in which he plays Dr. Henry Goose, Isaac Sachs, Dermot Hoggins and Zachry Bailey- who are all, incidentally, 'reincarnations of the same soul', as David Mitchell, the author of the book from which the film is adapted, told Radio 4 in 2008. Hosting the show was Elizabeth Vargas who was trying to coax Hanks into speaking in the accent of one of his characters. Hanks warned her that it was mostly swearing, reports Reuters. Nevertheless, Vargas persisted and Hanks fulfilled exactly what he said the character does. Swear. Both Vargas and Hanks were in immediate shock and apologized profusely.
In their own shock, and subsequent apology, did neither of them think 'actually this is no big deal'? Because, actually, this is no big deal. The response by the public, in particular by the Parents Television Council (PTC) has been one of utter outrage, PTC tweeted 'Why would ABC allow the F-bomb on #GMA?' Gee, you'd think parents never make mistakes. If a parent is worried that their child is going to be heavily influenced by what they watch on TV, then their child is definitely watching far too much TV. Anyone above the age of 10 knows almost all the swear words, which means increasingly they have less power. Long gone are the days when the B-words weren't allowed before the watershed, and these S-word finds itself on prime time television during the day, in the UK at least. Most importantly, the manner and context in which it Tom Hanks used the word inoffensive and flippant. So yeah, shock, horror, Tom Hanks swore on TV. The only question we're asking is, so what?