Gordon Ramsay's constant cursing causes Australian Senate inquiry
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/20/2008
Gordon Ramsay's freewheeling use of expletives has landed him in hot water with Australia's parliament.
The foul-mouthed British chef's use of the F-word more than 80 times in a 40-minute Kitchen Nightmares broadcast earlier this year has led Australia's Senate to make a push for stricter rules protecting viewers from cursing on television, Reuters reported Thursday.
Both Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen air on Australia's Nine Network broadcast network, but unlike in Fox's stateside broadcasts, Ramsay's expletive onslaughts aren't censored because the show airs after 8:30PM. The Catholic church called for Ramsay's shows to be canceled or aired in an even later time slot, Reuters reported.
"People were offended by the way Ramsay directed his language toward restaurant staff in an abusive and aggressive manner," inquiry chairwoman Anne McEwen told parliament, according to Reuters.
While Australia's Senate has implored better advisories for viewers warning them that certain shows contain cursing and new ways for television stations to deal with complaints, the inquiry did not ask for tighter censorship laws, Reuters reported.
However 20 recommendations were sent to television stations, asking them to review the way they rate programs and what they consider coarse language, according to Reuters.
Governor-General Michael Jeffery recently told the Sydney Morning Herald that television shows were glorifying bad manners and foul language in the land down under.
"There is a culture of crudeness. Crudeness in our language in high public life. The language you see coming out over the television, the language in political areas in some parts. It's a crudity which I don't think is a good thing," Jeffery told the Sydney Morning Herald, according to Reuters.
Nine Network director of regulatory affairs David Coleman told the Senate's inquiry that Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are some of the station's most popular programs -- regularly attracting an average of 1.4 million viewers, according to Reuters.
In addition, Coleman said Nine Network received only 12 written complaints about the episode that prompted the Senate inquiry.
"That is one written complaint for about every 117,000 viewers," said Coleman, according to Reuters. "I think that suggests we are not out of step with community standards."
Ramsay, who is currently in Australia for a series of cooking shows in Sydney, said that both of his shows illustrate the pressure-packed atmosphere of working in a real eatery.
"I want to run a proper kitchen with a pair of bollocks, not stand there and wish everybody a merry Christmas and pat them on the back every time they do a good job," Ramsay told the Nine Network on Friday, according to Reuters. "It's high pressure, high energy and more importantly, real. That's how we keep it each and every day."