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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 01:03 GMT 02:03 UK
TV swearing 'promotes grunt culture'
Greg Rusedski during an abusive tirade after a spectator called a ball out during his second round
The BBC is criticised for screening Rusedski's outburst
Broadcasters and film producers have been accused of helping to normalise bad language in society by an independent watchdog.

The "f-word" was used almost 1,500 times in films on the five terrestrial television channels in the first half of this year, according to a report published by Mediawatch-UK.

The campaign group says the level of swearing on television is unacceptable and against the wishes of most people.

It accuses broadcasters and film producers of helping to create a "grunt culture" in which language is being undermined.

Mary Whitehouse

The group monitored six films featuring swearing screened on BBC One, two on BBC Two, 11 on ITV1, 16 on Channel 4 and 25 on Channel 5.

Only one of the films was shown before the 9pm watershed.

Gangster movie Goodfellas, which was screened at 10pm on Channel 5, contained most uses of the "f-word" - 212.

Reservoir Dogs, shown on Channel 4 at 1115pm, came a close second, with 197 incidences of the swear word.

The "f-word" was first heard on television in 1963.

Mediawatch-UK was set up in 1965 as The National Viewers' and Listeners' Association by the late Mary Whitehouse.

Television has to be reflective of society
Andre, UK

Tennis tirade

Its director John Beyer said there had been "a consistent effort to promote obscenity, swearing and profanity" by film and television.

The report comes just weeks after British tennis player Greg Rusedski was fined for an abusive tirade after a spectator called a ball out during his second round Wimbledon match against Andy Roddick.

Mr Beyer said the BBC should have "bleeped it out".

"Why they repeated it later is beyond me," he added.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation had apologised for any offence caused by Rusedski's language.

It took the issue of swearing very seriously and adhered to the 9pm watershed, he added.

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