Putin to Potty Mouths: ’No Cuss Words in Russian Media’
First they came for the gays, and I said nothing. Next they came for the f*cking gays, and I got fined.
A warning to all potty mouths: a new law, signed off on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, bans all swearing in film, TV, live theater, media and cultural events in the country.
The law goes into effect on July1, so any gangsta rap acts booked to play Moscow this summer, best start re-writing their lyrics today.
Any new film that contains swearing will not be granted a distribution license.
Fines imposed for breaking the law will run as much as 50,000 rubles ($1,400 USD) for businesses and organizations, and up to 2,500 rubles for individuals ($71 USD).
Those looking to challenge the law can bring their case to an appointed panel of swearing experts who will determine which words are no-no’s.
Books, records and home videos containing any banned language will be sold in sealed packaging with a "Contains obscene language" warning label. Businesses that fail to warn consumers about swearing in packaged media will risk having their licenses revoked.
According to the BBC, the law is the work of MP Stanislav Govorukhin, a leading pro-Putin film director.
The law is reminiscent of Soviet era policies enforced by the Communist Party to foster family values and discourage Western decadence.
Not surprisingly, the law is drawing accolades in the United States from the religious right.
In an opinion piece titled "Russia bans profanity - why don’t we?" published on Christian news website One News Now, American Family Association Radio mouthpiece Bryan Fischer praised Putin for signing the law. Fischer, a darling of the First Amendment when it comes to gay bashing, apparently doesn’t like potty talk.
"At the time the First Amendment was enacted, there were laws against public profanity and blasphemy in every one of the original states, either by statute or common law." Fischer said. "The Founders quite obviously saw no contradiction between the First Amendment and laws against profanity, for the simple reason that the Amendment was about protecting political speech, not gutter talk. "
According to CNN, while some at home in Russia consider the law an effort to clean up the nation’s language, critics consider it the latest step by Putin to limit free expression and promote a conservative nationalist viewpoint.