Language That May Offend in Broadcasting

Warning: This research contains language some readers may find offensive

The BSA has published the latest findings from research it carries out from time to time to track evolving public attitudes towards language that may offend on TV and radio.

This helps us understand which expressions are considered most offensive in broadcasting and to what extent the level of acceptability is context dependent. The BSA and broadcasters use this information to help ensure programmes and BSA decisions reflect current community attitudes. Our last survey was in 2018.

The latest survey shows that views continue to shift, with audiences showing a decreasing tolerance for racial and cultural insults and a softening in attitudes towards blasphemy and terms using the F-word.

You can see the full findings plus a media release summarising key outtakes in several languages here:

Media release: Audiences less tolerant of racial or cultural slurs, more relaxed over F-word, BSA study finds

Full report: Language that may offend in broadcasting 2022