A Senate panel rejected calls Thursday to ban certain swear words on Australian TV following an inquiry prompted by a popular series on restaurant kitchens with foul-mouthed British chef Gordon Ramsay.
The series "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares," produced by the celebrity chef in the United States and Britain, is a hit in Australia where the abuse-ladened episodes are aired by the top rated Nine Network at 8:30 p.m.
The inquiry was initiated by opposition Sen. Cory Bernardi who said that "there is no excuse for gratuitous bad language to be broadcast repeatedly" when it could be "beeped out."
The inquiry focused on two of Ramsay's choices of swear words.
The inquiry heard evidence that the firebrand chef and restaurateur used one of his favorite curses 80 times within a single 40-minute episode.
Nine chief executive David Gyngell told the inquiry that the other Ramsay profanity, used to berate a chef in an episode screened earlier this year, would never again be broadcast by his national network.
The eight senators on the committee said in their report that they would not recommend any additional broadcast restrictions on the two swear words.
They said that decision was also based on available studies that found coarse language in the media did not harm children.
There are already rules that prevent such words being used on Australian TV before 8:30 p.m. and requiring "coarse language" warnings be shown when such programs begin.
But the report recommended technology that would enable parents to block out programs that are unsuitable for children become standard for all digital televisions sold in Australia.
It also recommended broadcasters consider permanently displaying the classification symbol of a program on screen and that such classifications more accurately reflect a program's content.