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'Modern Family' stars speak out on swearing episode controversy

January 18, 2012 |  1:30 pm


The stars of "Modern Family" are speaking out against the brewing controversy surrounding Wednesday night's episode before it's even aired yet.

The episode's plot, which creator Steven Levitan first revealed during a comedy showrunner panel during last week's Television Critics Assn. press tour, revolves around 2½-year-old character Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) uttering a certain four-letter favorite. It's a situation many parents have experienced, and it understandably horrifies her adoptive parents, gay couple Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson).

In real life, however, actors Stonestreet and Ferguson are more horrified by the protests of a group called the No Cussing Club, founded by an 18-year-old college student at Brigham Young University named McKay Hatch. Hatch told the Associated Press he founded the club in 2007 to curb the amount of bad language flying through the halls of his high school, asserting that foul language was directly linked to bullying.

Hatch claims the group has 35,000 members and is petitioning ABC to pull the episode, titled "Little Bo Bleep."

While it's highly unlikely that will happen, that hasn't stopped Stonestreet and Ferguson from responding to the request via their Twitter accounts.

Stonestreet sent a series of tweets Wednesday morning, writing, "For fornication sake people! Again, how bout actually SEEING what you're against before u r so STRONGLY against it." Followed by, "how bout redirecting energies of the No Cuss Club 2; reading 2 the elderly, picking up litter, feeding the hungry..."

Ferguson chimed in, "After u see tonights episode u will find that the Viagra Ads durring the commercial break r more explicit than anything on r show. #Harmless."

Judging by the angry (and quite profane) comments in response to Hatch's original call to action on the group's Facebook page, Stonestreet and Ferguson aren't alone in their feelings that the protest is misplaced.

Adding a little levity to the situation, Stonestreet even teased an even more shocking development on the episode, "So focused on the 'cussing' in tonight's Modern Family, everyone seems to have neglected Ty, Jesse, Ed's, and my full frontal scene."


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-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, from right, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons and Eric Stonestreet in the "Modern Family" episode "Little Bo Bleep." Credit: Peter "Hopper" Stone / ABC