Producers of Sunday's Emmy telecast bleeped drama actress winner Sally Field in the midst of a controversial acceptance speech attacking U.S. involvement in Iraq.
"If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn't be any god -" she said when the sound went dead and the camera suddenly turned away from the stage so viewers would be distracted. Chopped off were the words "goddamn wars in the first place." (The phrase was not censored in the Canadian telecast.)
"This belongs to all the mothers of the world -- may they be seen and valued," she added when she won for outstanding actress in a drama series for her work as matriarch Nora Walker on "Brothers & Sisters." While the two-time Oscar winner already has two Emmys, this was her first nomination for series work, and she bested a field that included favorite Edie Falco of "The Sopranos."
Backstage, in the press room later, Field told reporters, "I would have liked to have said more four-letter words up there!
"Oh, well. I've been there before!" Field added when asked what she thought of the gagging. "Good. I don't care. I have no comment other than, 'Oh, well.' I said what I wanted to say. I wanted to pay homage to the mothers of the world. And I very, very seriously think that if mothers ruled the world we wouldn't be sending our children off to be slaughtered."
When she was pressed for further comment, she added, "Too bad. That's a shame. And I think I probably shouldn't have said the 'god' in front of the 'damn.'
"If they bleep it, oh, well. I'll just say it somewhere else."
Technically, Field's censored words are not profane. A 2004 FCC ruling specifically stated no objection to the use of "goddamn" on TV when making a judgment on the uproar over Bono swearing at the Golden Globes in 2003 where he used more colorful language. See the ruling — CLICK HERE
Field has a history of making controversial acceptance speeches.
Upon winning the Academy Award as best actress of 1984 for "Places in the Heart" five years after winning for "Norma Rae, " she delivered one of the most memorable thank-yous in Oscar history: "This means so much more to me this time. I don't know why. I think the first time I hardly felt it because it was all too new. But I want to say thank you to you. I haven't had an orthodox career. And I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it. But this time I feel it. And I can't deny the fact that you like me . . . right now . . . you like me. Thank you."
At Sunday's Emmycast, Fox also bleeped "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl when its camera zoomed in on the surprised winner who gasped an expletive upon hearing her name called.
UNEDITED VERSION OF SALLY FIELD'S SPEECH:
WHAT VIEWERS AT HOME SAW:
Ray Romano was muzzled early in the Emmy ceremony when he noted, "Frasier is screwing my wife" on Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton's new series "Back to You." Fox bleeped the word "screwing." Last week at the Creative Arts Emmys, Kathy Griffin shocked the audience when her "My Life on the D-List" show won best reality program after losing the previous year.
'"I was robbed and you all know it! Everybody can s**k it!'' she said. "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus." Then she added: "Hell has frozen over. S**k it, Jesus, this award is my god now!"
TV academy chiefs issued a statement saying that her "offensive" remarks would be edited out of the taped E! telecast of the awards program that aired on Saturday night.
At the same Creative Arts show, Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg won an Emmy for their "Saturday Night Live" song "D*ck in a Box," which Emmycast producers wanted them to perform on Sunday night's show in a bleeped version, but the crooners declined, refusing to be censored.
Fox network did not bleep the "d*ck" word in its own list of official nominations when it was issued in mid-July.
Curiously, the network had no problem airing a racy comedy skit on the Sunday telecast about sex in men's room bathroom stalls. Neither did it bleep Brad Garrett when he looked down at the cleavage of his "Till Death" costar Joely Fisher and said, "That reminds me, I need to get milk," then suggested they star in a movie titled "Bury My Head Between Your Knees."
Fox network issued the following statement: "Some language during the live broadcast may have been considered inappropriate by some viewers. As a result, Fox's broadcast standards executives determined it appropriate to drop sound during those portions of the show."