Any “Yellowstone” fan knows that the Paramount Network show does not hold back when it comes to swearing and cussing. This may turn some fans off to the show, but star Cole Hauser provided some justification and reasoning for the decision to swear so much.
Hauser plays Rip Wheeler on the show, and fans can always count on Rip to do what needs to be done. Whether that’s handling cattle and horses or taking someone to the “train station,” Rip is the Dutton family’s go-to guy. And when he has to round up a bunch of raunchy cowboys, sometimes his language can be a little colorful and forceful.
The “Yellowstone” star interviewed with Cowboys & Indians magazine in 2019, right before the second season premiered. The outlet asked Hauser about the “raw language” and “F-bombs” frequently used on an “advertiser-supported cable network.”
“I think you’re right, in the sense that there is a ton [of foul language],” Hauser said. “But it works for this world. These people, they’re honest, and they’re brutal, and it’s what makes the show special. It really is.”
Hauser raises several fair points. Not everyone who watches the show knows what it’s like to be a rancher in Montana. Especially one who deals with enemies at every turn. So when some people argue that the language isn’t “realistic,” Hauser’s point stands: It is in this world, where people do anything to make land grabs.
How Can a Cable Network Show Like ‘Yellowstone’ Get Away With Excessive Cussing?
Matt Roush, a critic for TV Insider, also spoke to “Yellowstone” and other cable shows’ increasingly common profanity use. He answered fans’ questions right before the Season 2 premiere as well in 2019.
“More and more, basic cable networks are trying to compete with premium and streaming services by ratcheting up the adult content, sometimes flagrantly,” Roush said. “To be honest, it feels to me that ‘Yellowstone’ has dialed it back a little this year so far — although in any scene dealing with the cowboys or Beth, you need to gird your loins for the worst.”
Roush raises a key point. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and others have gotten away with excessive adult content for years. Viewers who sign up for these services and choose to watch these shows know exactly what they’re signing up for. Especially when many of these companies provide content warnings before the start of the show.
With all this competition, cable networks like Paramount are just trying to compete with the adult content on streaming platforms. They still rate their content, which can be found in the TV guide when you click on a show. So viewers who see a TV-MA rating should be prepared for violence, sexuality, and profanity in a show.
“Cable networks aren’t subject to the same content restrictions (or FCC oversight) as the over-the-air broadcast channels,” Roush continued. “And in recent years — spurred largely by FX, AMC and a handful of others — basic cable channels now regularly trumpet the sorts of words they used to either bleep, mute or otherwise edit out. Advertisers don’t seem to mind. But obviously, a number of viewers don’t see this as an improvement.”
Some viewers may have turned off “Yellowstone” because of its profanity. But the language used by the cowboys and ranchers is just as much a part of the show as the gorgeous Montana skyline.