Close Captions Censorship?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Johnny Angell, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I have watched two episodes of The Glades and like it a lot. I often turn on closed captioning since my hearing is not the best. I have noticed on both episodes censorship of the captions. Mild profanity such as ass, damn, bastard and others are replaced with %$@&*. The words are spoken and not bleeped.


    So we can hear them, but not read them. That makes no sense.


    BTW, I have just learned that those &%#*! are called grawlixes. I learned that from our local TV critic.
     
  2. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    What about subtitles? Now on my PC I have the Powerlink Power DVD which reads DVDs with Closed Captions. Now with subtitles, I did not notice any problems with the film “The Taking of Pelham one two three. Perhaps your DVD player in censoring the CC. Try the DVD on your PC or the subtitles if the disc has it
     
  3. AlexF

    AlexF Supporting Actor

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    It's live TV, not on DVD as yet.
     
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Yup. BTW, I emailed our local TV critic and had never noticed this before. He said he'd be sure to check it out for the next episode.
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I've seen various strange things in closed captions -- sometimes the captions are censored more heavily than the audio, but I've also noticed the reverse.


    The strangest show is American Idol. Sometimes the captions appear to have been typed from an entirely different script than what the audio is using!
     
  6. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I have not noticed captions paraphrasing the audio but till The Glades, I hadn't noticed them being censored. Can't say I've noticed the audio being censored and the captions not. I guess I'll be paying more attention in the future.


    I don't use captions for live programming since they lag the audio too much and it bugs the heck out of me.
     
  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I have the captions turned on on one of my TVs so I can read dialogue while on the treadmill (can't hear over it). You have to go into the DVR menu to turn them off or on, so I just leave them on. Hoosiers was on TNT a few weeks ago, and they first skipped over a mild vulgarity. Then, a character made mention of God and God was completely removed, changing the entire meaning of the dialogue. I've had DVDs where any expletives have been removed from the subtitle track, even when it's an R-rated film with nudity. When I used to check, it was almost more of a surprise when the expletives were included.


    I've also noticed that there are a lot of changes for brevity's sake on captioned sitcoms. I'll hear a line that's kind of funny, but it's mundane if you just read the captions. Just to make up an example, maybe someone will say, "What in the tarnation are you talking about?" and it will be captioned as, "What do you mean?"
     
  8. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I thought I'd throw this latest experience into the mix. I just watched the episode of the Mentalist where Lisbon is suspected of murder. It's a rerun and I recorded it last night. In the closing scene there is some low key music but no vocals. It's a serious scene. The close captions indicate (with little musical notes) that the following vocals are being sung:

     

    There were no vocals at all the those lyrics don't fit either the scene or the music. Sometimes I think the people doing the close captions are trying to see if anyone is paying attention. Either that or Charles Boyer is trying to Gaslight me
     
  9. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Sometimes shows will have lines of dialog from an earlier draft of the script that what is actually in the show. There was a Simpsons episode where Hitler's car is described as being the first car with Fahrvergnügen, but in the closed captioning it says something like "the car was originally the first float in Disney's Main St. Electrical Parade."
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I remember a very early bit by Bob Newhart commenting about his short work life as an accountant: "I always thought if you got with in a couple bucks of it..." I think that's the mindset behind closed captioning. Close is good enough. It would cost too much money to be more accurate I guess.
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Latest weirdness: during the Hasselhoff roast on Comedy Central, when they played his career montage, the captions read the title of a Motley Crue song (it was either Looks that Kill or Kickstart My Heart; I forget which), and displayed the lyrics to that song, but the actual soundtrack was a different Motley Crue song! (One that I didn't recognize.)

     

    There was something else over the weekend where the captions read "expletive deleted" but the audio was (mostly) uncensored. I think it was a movie on basic cable (AMC or Comedy Central or something along those lines), but I forget now. Hm, actually, it might've been the NWA documentary on VH-1. . .

     
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It's been going on longer than you think. The other day at the gym, I was watching a Golden Girls rerun on the treadmill (the treadmills have personal TVs). Blanche complained that Rose wanted to have a yard sale which would include a cup that said "I Lost My Ass In Vegas." Blanche said "ass", the closed captions said "…"

     

    Of course that was 20 years ago.
     
  13. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    If you thnk of producing a TV program as one discrete process. Then it's shipped off for the close captioning by a completely different group with their own separate standards.
     
  14. ehwhathuh

    ehwhathuh Auditioning

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    I have the same problem with AMC's 'Breaking Bad'. They censor the closed captions, but not when it is spoken. They censor words such as 'God' 'Jesus' 'Damn' 'Bastard' and 'Hell'. So annoying!!! I have blogged about this several times. Here I have picture stills and a video clip of the censorship: http://www.ehwhathuh.com/2011/08/video-clip-and-picture-stills-of.html I encourage you to send a complaint to FCC about this. You can read how to do it here: Filed a Complaint with FCC. (e www.ehwhathuh.com
     

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