Tom Colicchio says Bravo has received complaints about Top Chef 4’s profanity

In a weird little coda at the end of Top Chef 4 last week, the contestants erupted into a fight, sort of, that was difficult to parse because so many people were getting made at each other for different reasons–and because the whole thing was a big bleep-fest.

As it turned out, some people, including head judge and chief ornery bastard Tom Colicchio, have noticed that this season has more profanity, and they’re not happy. People leaving comments on, always the best gauge of public opinion, “had criticized this season’s profanity from ‘day one’ and that Bravo, which broadcasts ‘Top Chef,’ had received complaints as well,” The New York Times reports, attributing the information to Colicchio.

Tom said that “the way they’re bleeping” might be problematic. The Times artfully describes that by noting that “Bravo’s censors leave much of the offending syllables intact. … Instead of a fig leaf, the network holds up a sprig of parsley.”

Andy Cohen told the paper that the profanity has been striking but is just the way these chefs are. “It’s struck us from the first cut we got of the first episode. At the network all we can do is bleep like crazy and, you know, maintain our standards while maintaining the integrity of what’s going on in the kitchen. I mean look, it’s who these people are, and we try to show these people as they are.”

One of the current contestants, Spike Mendelsohn, said his family was shocked and “I was actually surprised myself when I watched it. I didn’t want to be so foulmouthed.” But he also doesn’t wish he’d done something differently. “Not at all, that’s who I am,” he said.

Too Much Heat in the TV Kitchen? [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.