Star Trek: Picard actor Sir Patrick Stewart recently opened up about the heavy use of profanity used in the script for the now concluded first season.
Stewart was asked about the use of the amount of foul language in a lengthy interview with TV Guide, and subsequently detailed his reaction upon seeing the first swear word in the script.
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Interviewer Keisha Hatchett brought up the subject of foul language asking Stewart, “What I also loved about this season is how potty-mouthed everyone was. What do you think Picard’s favorite swear word is and why? Have you ever thought about that?”
Stewart responded, ” I think that Picard had actually taken an active decision not to abuse language that would be unpleasant for people to hear whether it is abusive or offensive in some way, and he stuck to it.”
He elaborated, “Even if he wanted to say, “Damn, blast,” or whatever, he would, for the most part, manage to deny himself that pleasure.
The actor then went on to describe the first time he ran across a swear word while reading the script. He stated, “When I came across the first swear word in the first script, I can honestly tell you, I was deeply shocked.”
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Even though he was shocked by the use of the foul language he also acknowledged that he wasn’t a stranger to coarse words. Even with that being the case it was still a deeply shocking thing for him to see in a Star Trek script.
He stated, “I grew up in a family where swearing was second nature. Every other word was a swear word, and yet when I read… it might have been the F-word that I read and I was shocked and unsettled by it.”
He then pointed out that that type of language was never part of the franchise before and he even had a conversation with showrunner Michael Chabon about the inclusion of the word.
Stewart explained, “I think I did have a conversation with Michael [Chabon] about this use of language and how comfortable were we with it. It was something that had never been a part of previous Star Trek.”
While Stewart indicated he was shocked by the language and initially indicated he had misgivings about the use of the language he would go on to justify its use in the show.
He explained, “But here’s the other thing. The world we are living in has changed. It’s changing.”
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“My wife showed me some videos on her phone of some of the violence aimed by police at protesters. African American people, women, young teenagers, old men. In one instance, a white old man. It is horrifying,” he added.
He then stated, “So we have to look at this world and ask ourselves, “What can we do to make it better?” And that was always the theme of Next Generation and yet, in a different context, it’s also the theme of Picard.”
What do you think of the free use of curse words in Star Trek? What do you make of Stewart’s reaction to seeing the curse words and his subsequent justification of them?