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Rude, actually: why Americans won’t watch our favourite rom-com

Bill Nighy - REUTERS/Neil Hall

Rude, actually: why Americans won’t watch our favourite rom-com

Rude, actually: why Americans won’t watch our favourite rom-com

Why do Americans turn off English movies like ‘Love, Actually’? Because they’re just too rude.

America and England have been called two countries separated by a common language. So far separated, it turns out, that many Americans find English films like the family hit Love, Actually “too offensive to watch”.

There’s a very memorable scene at the beginning of Love, Actually where Bill Nighy’s character, Billy Mack, blurts out a series of swear words while trying to sing a Christmas song in a recording studio.

In Australia, New Zealand and its British home, many viewers would say it’s one of the film’s most unforgettable and comedic scenes.

However, a third of American viewers would prefer to bleep out the expletives while watching it, according to a recent study.

UCLA researchers assessed data from an American streaming website called VidAngel, which is no longer operative.

The video company allowed its users to choose to filter out swear words, nudity, sexual scenes and violence from what they were watching.

The study found 29 per cent of users decided to filter out words from films they classed as “British profanity”.

On top of that, 60 per cent of viewers chose to omit the F-word, nearly half chose to filter out “damn” and a third opted to avoid “dick”. 

Swear words weren’t the only thing that people found offensive enough to censor.

Many decided to steer clear of religious references, with around half of users filtering out “god”, 53 per cent avoiding “Jesus” and 41 per cent avoiding all words that could be classed as blasphemous.

The study’s leader, law professor Douglas Lichtman, believes parents should be able to filter out swear words from films that his children might watch.

“I understand the directors’ objections, I get it. I’m saying that in my home with my kids I want to be able to knock out naughty words if I so choose,” he said.

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