Alanis Morissette’s NYE performance of ‘You Oughta Know’ got censored

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Alanis Morissette was one of the performers on one of the U.S.’s New Year’s Eve institutions, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, on ABC. She performed with the Broadway cast of Jagged Little Pill, and the network’s censors bleeped several words in (of course), “You Oughta Know.” Fans weren’t happy:

Fans took to social media on New Year’s Eve to remind ABC censors of the mess they made when they went away and bleeped the performance of Alanis Morissette’s signature song, “You Oughta Know,” during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.

Morissette joined the cast of the Broadway play Jagged Little Pill, based on her ’90s mega-smash album of the same name, in a Times Square performance during the network’s annual New Year’s Eve special.

The lines “Is she perverted like me?” and “Would she go down on you in a theater?” were censored, as was a later expletive by cast member Lauren Patten.

[From Deadline]

Deadline also shared some of the angry tweets:

(I love the inclusion of the Dogma gif in the last one.) I looked on Youtube for some of the first televised performances of “You Oughta Know,” because I seem to remember that one of the awards shows bleeped out the entire line that contained “f—,” which I remember thinking was overkill. During the next performance (at the VMAs?), the censors got it right and just bleeped the word. I can’t seem to find the former, however. I also loved her performance at the Grammys in 1996: This video is uncensored. I don’t recall an instance where the above lyrics were completely bleeped out, though. I assume the censors did it because they knew that children would be watching. It’s incredibly annoying, but network censors don’t play around and often err on the side of being more cautious than not, wanting to avoid lawsuits, so I’m not sure why anyone was surprised.

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17 Responses to “Alanis Morissette’s NYE performance of ‘You Oughta Know’ got censored”

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  1. AnnaKist says:

    Oh, what? It’s 2020 ffs. Bloody censorship.

    I was watching the NYE Party on our national broadcaster. They were doing hits of the decades. A young Aussie singer did You Outta Know, and I haven’t -stopped raving about her. She was fabulous! And no censorship, either. That’s Our ABC – they treat us like grown ups.
    We still love Jagged Little Pill, and I hope the stage show comes down here.

    • Arizona says:

      well, I think the reason this was censored was because it wasn’t just grown-ups watching…

      • sandy says:

        Exactly, this is a family night and kids are specifically staying up late to watch. The whole family should be able to enjoy programming without me having to explain specific sex acts.

        As background, I don’t generally sensor what music we listen to—it’s art—even when there are curses. But a big night when kids are specifically focused on the tv should be accessible to everyone watching.

      • MollyTB says:

        there are kids in cages at the border, many of them being abused, sexually assaulted, haven’t seen their parents for YEARS- but no, “Timmy our 7 year old might hear the f word!!!!” Nice selectivity in what’s intolerable & what’s not. Are so many parents out their really that dumb? You think bleeping that word somehow has *any* effect? It just shows how so many parents are so ignorant of what’s going on in schools..which makes the f word look silly. Throw out those pearls y’all clutch. You have no idea how much more your kid knows than you do, lmao. We’re talking from age 6 and beyond. Do these ppl not remember life before procreation?

        (btw , sheltered parents, Timmy knows & uses the word when you’re not around. Most kids know it by 2nd grade ffs)

    • AnnaKist says:

      Dear MollyTB,

      I think you’re my long-lost soul sister. You are absolutely spot-on. I’m a teacher in a Sydney primary (elementary) school, and if American kids are anything like Australian kids, I can assure you that little Timmy already knows and says things that would make your hair curl. As for high-schoolers, well, let’s just say even I have to ask my adult daughter what certain things I overhear at my bus stop outside the oval high school mean.

      For the record, there were loads of young kids at the NYE Party Concert. Not only were they singing along with Natalie Foster, but there were no complaints in the following days. There are far worse things in our world than a few f-words here and there. Be concerned about those.

  2. Elisa says:

    2 things:
    is this really Alanis Morissette – she looks totally different?
    I swear a lot and find it a great stress relief. So I never understood this hyper-sensitivity around swearing. “shrugs”

  3. Jillybean says:

    Seriously? With the implicit and explicit references to sex and drugs and everything else in recent music? An old 25 year old tune gets censored? Cripes

  4. c-no says:

    GO SEE THIS SHOW. I saw it in Cambridge on the pre-Broadway run and y’all it is powerful, I think especially for those of us who were there for the original album release. Really great show. Also yeah the censorship is BS.

  5. Marianne says:

    Its not necessarily the broadcaster’s fault though. there are certain rules in place about what can and cannot be aired at certain times. Perhaps they should have had her performance later in the evening. I think she went on around 8, no? Probably still “primetime”.

    • MollyTB says:

      The networks are dying & they have no one to blame but themselves. Broadcast has an expiration date.

  6. Valerie says:

    I’m going to see her on her upcoming tour and I’m SO FUCKING EXCITED.

  7. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    You Oughta Know was always censored in the US though. It used to almost be a game amongst my friends. If the song was ever playing on the radio or somewhere, we’d all instinctively go silent around the line “are you thinking of me when you fuck her?” to see if it was censored or not. It usually wasn’t censored on Canadian radio but we never heard it not censored in the US.

    • Valerie says:

      Wasn’t it? I remember fuck being bleeped out on the radio and on MuchMusic. I know what you mean about everyone going quiet, though! 😀

    • Sara says:

      Would she go down on you in a theater” was always censored in the U.S. too. Just the word down. *eyeroll*

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I’ve self censored the part about the theater, but only because I now have images of Dave Coulier…

  8. Emily says:

    This was the only part of the ABC show we caught. I couldn’t believe they censored it! Why choose this song to be performed if you know you’re going to obviously cut so much out.