Filmmakers who use words like “f**k,” “G***am,” and “Jes** Chr***” as curses might risk losing their audience, according to a new poll.
A full third of the public (33 percent) said they would be less likely to see a movie if they knew beforehand that the name of Jesus Christ was used as a swear word, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Almost a third of audiences (32 percent) said they would swear off a movie including the contraction of the name of God with “damn,” and nearly that many (31 percent) said the same for the straight F word.
Different types of people reported they would reject movies with different types of swear words. It may come as no surprise that the elderly accepted such profanity less than the young. More than half of those over 72 said they would avoid movies with “G***am” and the F word in the dialogue.
Republicans also care more than Democrats. A full 45 percent of Republicans said they would avoid a movie with the F word, while only 25 percent of Democrats said the same.
Women (37 percent) were also more likely than men (26 percent) to say the F word in films bothered them.
Self-identified evangelical Christians had the biggest problem with swearing. Nine in ten of them (90 percent) said they might avoid a film using the name of Jesus Christ to swear — a natural position for those who worship Jesus Christ as God. Nearly as many (86 percent) said the same of “G***am,” and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) objected to the F word in films.
These evangelicals, which the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life says make up about 26 percent of Americans, also objected to milder curse words such as “sh*t,” “damn,” “hell,” “pi**,” and “crap” more than secular audiences did. Even so, these words would not dissuade more than half (50 percent) of any demographic — even evangelicals — from seeing a film.
The poll, conducted by Harris Media, was commissioned by the filmmakers behind Generational Sins, a faith-based movie set to release on October 6, with 32 expletives that was recently rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
“Despite everything that’s been coming out in the press about how profane and decidedly un-Christian the film is, we always knew we were making a PG-13 movie,” director Spencer Folmar explained. “We didn’t set out to be exploitative … it isn’t gratuitous.”
The team behind Generational Sins launched the study in order to find out just how open Christians and non-Christians were to expletives in film. They insist the film is intended for both audiences. Generational Sins will deal with deep and complicated themes abuse, alcoholism, and redemption.
Here is the trailer for Generational Sins.