Giving a great acceptance speech isn’t an easy task, as actors, singers and other stars have proved many times over the years. Not only is it overwhelming to be on a stage in front of hundreds of peers and millions of viewers, but emotions tend to be running at an all-time high — especially after a surprise win.
Given those circumstances, it’s no surprise that some stars haven’t been able to stop themselves from letting a few curse words slip in while accepting their awards. Here’s a look at the stars whose acceptance speeches had to be censored for TV.
Note: This story may be sensitive for profanity-averse readers.
Melissa Leo’s Slip During Her 2011 Oscar Speech
Perhaps the most notable bleep in awards history happened during Melissa Leo’s win at the 2011 Oscar ceremony. After winning the Best Supporting Actress award in 2011, Leo was left stunned — so much so that she accidentally ended up dropping the F-bomb on stage.
“OK, yeah. I am kind of speechless … Golly sakes, there’s people up there too,” she said on stage, looking up to the rafters. “When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so f—ing easy. Oops!”
With that slip-up, Leo had the honor of becoming the first person to ever drop the curse word on stage.
Christian Bale Gives No-Holds-Barred Speech At The 2019 Golden Globes
Given the amazing transformation he underwent to play former Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice,” it’s no surprise that Christian Bale took home the Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy award at the 2019 Golden Globes. What was a surprise? His unfiltered acceptance speech, in which he thanked director Adam McKay for choosing him for the role because he needed “someone who can be absolutely charisma-free and reviled by everybody.”
Bale went on to say that he would like to start “cornering the market on charisma-free a–holes,” though the word got bleeped from the broadcast. Oh, and as if that wasn’t wild enough? He also thanked Satan for giving him inspiration on how to play the role.
Olivia Colman Can’t Stop Cursing After Winning A Golden Globe
At the 2019 Golden Globe ceremony, Olivia Colman took home the award for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for her role as a queen in “The Favourite.” The actress was so flustered by the honor, she couldn’t stop herself from saying a few curse words in her speech.
“I would like to tell you how much this film means to me but I can’t think of it, because I’m too excited,” she said, also dropping a couple of expletives that got censored during the broadcast.
Frances McDormand Gets Censored At The 2018 Golden Globes — For No Reason
NBC was a little too overzealous with the bleep button during the 2018 Golden Globes, at which Frances McDormand won Best Actress in a Drama for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” During her speech, the actress was bleeped out multiple times for non-offensive words — including “tectonic shift” and “Fox Searchlight.” Needless to say, Twitter was quick to call the network out for being a little too censor-happy during the speech.
Meryl Streep Drops the S-Word At The 2012 Golden Globes
Believe it or not, even Meryl Streep makes mistakes occasionally. When the actress went on stage to accept her statue for “The Iron Lady” in 2012, she forgot to bring her glasses. When she realized her goof, she cursed on stage and had to be bleeped. Oops! It’s OK, Meryl — you can still do no wrong in our eyes.
Elisabeth Moss Thanks Her Mom (With a Few Curses) At the 2017 Emmys
Elisabeth Moss won her first Emmy at the 2017 ceremony, taking home the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama award for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The actress thanked a number of people — including her mother, whom she described so enthusiastically, the network had to bleep a couple of words.
“You are brave and strong and smart,” she said before adding, “You have taught me that you can be kind and a f—ing bada–.”
Thandie Newton Gets Carried Away With Gratitude At The 2018 Emmys
After winning her first-ever Emmy for her supporting role as Maeve on “Westworld,” Thandie Newton couldn’t help but get emotional.
“I don’t even believe in God but I’m going to thank her tonight. I am so blessed,” she said, before adding, “Without this, I am even so f—ing blessed.”
The curse was bleeped from the broadcast, and Newton caught herself quickly afterward, covering her mouth for a second before continuing with her speech.
Sally Field’s Speech At The 2007 Emmys Gets Censored
In 2007, Sally Field accepted the trophy for Best Actress in a Drama for her role on “Brothers & Sisters.” During the speech, the actress triggered a censor from Fox. In a politically charged moment, Field referenced the Iraq War and said, “Let’s face it, if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no godd–ned wars in the first place.”
Adele Gets Bleeped Too Late During The 2016 Brit Awards
ITV, the network that broadcasts the Brit Awards, royally messed up their censoring of Adele’s speech in 2016. During her acceptance speech for the Global Success Award, the singer was so emotional, she sobbed and dropped an F-bomb — but the censors missed it! The network ended up bleeping out a portion of her speech before and after the curse word, instead of the actual expletive. Now that’s a funny fail.
Patricia Arquette Gets Bleeped During The 2019 Golden Globes
After winning an award for her supporting role in “Escape at Dannemora” at the 2019 Golden Globes, Patricia Arquette got bleeped for what seemed like a solid 10 seconds. The actress joked about the prosthetic teeth she had to wear to play her character, prison worker Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell.
“How many f—ed-up teeth does a person need?” she joked, to the amusement of the stars in the audience. “I was born with f—ed-up teeth!”
Patricia Arquette Mutters A Curse At The 2015 Oscars
Yes, Arquette makes our list twice! The actress has had a lot of occasions to celebrate in recent years with all the awards she’s racked up, but it seems she can’t help but drop an expletive or two during her acceptance speeches. Before dropping a couple of curse words at the 2019 Golden Globes, the actress also got bleeped while accepting the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2015 Oscars.
Upon making it to the stage, the actress took a minute to pull her speech out and compose herself — and she couldn’t resist muttering some word that didn’t make it past the network’s censor. Thankfully, the rest of her epic speech — in which she called for pay equality for women — went without a hitch.
T.J. Martin Let The F-Word Fly At The 2012 Oscars
Director T.J. Martin was thrilled to win the award for Best Documentary Feature for “Undefeated” at the 2012 Oscars Ceremony — so much so that he couldn’t help but drop an expletive out of excitement. While shouting out his fellow nominees in the category, Martin dropped the F-bomb, although it was bleeped during the telecast.
He later apologized for his language backstage, saying, “First and foremost I want to apologize for that. I don’t think that was the classiest thing in the world. However, with that said, it did come from the heart. It was absolutely spontaneous and there’s no way in the world I thought this would happen. This is the most insane thing that’s ever happened.”
Amy Sherman-Palladino Says This NSFW Word At The 2018 Emmys
Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” won two awards at the 2018 Emmys for writing and directing the comedy series. During her second acceptance speech of the night, the “Gilmore Girls” creator held up both of her awards and jokingly exclaimed, “My panic room is going to be so pretty!” She then excitedly dropped an F-bomb, which was bleeped out for viewers at home (although we did hear the laughter from the audience a second later).
To be fair, Sherman-Palladino did have a good reason to celebrate: She’s the first woman to ever win for both writing and directing in a comedy.
Jacqueline Bisset’s Acceptance Speech At The 2014 Golden Globes Gets Weird
It’s hard to forget the strange acceptance speech Jacqueline Bisset gave after earning a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie in 2014. The actress started off ordinarily enough, but things quickly went off track when the musical cue started to play her off stage. Instead of ending her speech, Bisset ranted on, stating, “I’m sorry, I’m going to get this together,” and then prompted a bleep by blurting out a four-letter word that starts with the letter “s.” Needless to say, Twitter had a lot to say about the weird speech.
Elisabeth Moss Prompts Censor At The 2014 Golden Globes
Bissett wasn’t the only one at the 2014 Golden Globes to keep the censors on their toes. Moss makes a second appearance on our list for the acceptance speech she gave after nabbing the Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV movie award for “Top of the Lake.” Her immediate reaction to the win: “Holy s—!”
Katherine Heigl Can’t Contain Shock At The 2007 Emmys
Though Fox muted the sound, it was obvious that Katherine Heigl blurted out a certain cuss word starting with “F” when her name was first announced as the winner of Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for “Grey’s Anatomy.” Luckily, Heigl managed to recover quickly once she got on stage and delivered an otherwise entertaining speech.
Bette Midler Drops A Four-Letter Word At The 2017 Tonys
In 2017, Bette Midler won Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her work on “Hello, Dolly!” She delivered a funny and highly praised acceptance speech, although she did prompt the telecast’s censor at one point while acknowledging the crew members.
The actress dropped the S-word while thanking her hair team, stating, “I want to say thank you to Campbell Young for the most beautiful hair on Broadway, and I am not s—ting you people, not for one minute.”
Miley Cyrus Gets Bleeped At The 2014 Billboard Awards
Miley Cyrus dropped a bit of profanity during her acceptance speech at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The pop star won the Top Streaming Song (Video) award and gave a remote speech from England, where she was on tour. She prompted a censor when she dropped a four-letter S-word, saying. “Thank you to everybody for making this s— possible.”
Mark Mangini Regrets His Choice of Words At The 2016 Oscars
While accepting the Oscar for Best Sound Editing on “Mad Max: Fury Road,” sound editor Mark Mangini (below left) couldn’t contain his excitement. Upon arriving on stage, he raised his hands and shouted, “F— yeah!”
Though the network managed to bleep it in time, Mangini later revealed he instantly regretted his words.
“I’m gonna hear it from my wife, so that’s about as big a regret as one can have,” he said backstage, per Entertainment Weekly.
Alex Borstein Is Stunned By 2018 Emmys Win
When Alex Borstein heard her name called as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy award for her role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” she couldn’t contain her shocked reaction. The actress shook her head and was clearly seen mouthing the F-word in disbelief, although audiences at home didn’t hear it.
Merritt Wever Can’t Hide Her Surprise At the 2018 Emmys
Merritt Wever had a similar reaction to Borstein’s upon picking up the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for “Godless.” The actress was so surprised by the win, she said the F-word before quickly catching herself and covering her mouth. Though the word was inaudible during the telecast, the moment still lives on in meme history.
Logic Delivers Impassioned Speech At The 2018 Grammys
Logic technically hadn’t just won an award when he dropped an expletive during the 2018 Grammys, but he was delivering an impassioned speech at the time. During a moving performance of “1-800-273-8255” at the 2018 Grammys, the singer began discussing equality and specifically called out a profane comment President Donald Trump had recently made about immigrants from other countries.
“Be not scared to use your voice,” he stated to a roaring crowd. “To all the beautiful countries filled with culture, diversity and thousands of years of history, you are not s—holes.”
The word was bleeped during the telecast, but Logic later shared a picture of his speech on Twitter.
Bono Calls Out Trump’s Comments At the 2018 Grammys
Logic wasn’t the only one to use his performance to call out Trump at the 2018 Grammys. U2 frontman Bono also called out those comments, quoting the president during the band’s performance of “XXX” with Kendrick Lamar.
The singer grabbed a megaphone and stated, “Blessed are the s—hole countries, for they gave us the American dream.”
OK, so the statement didn’t happen during an acceptance speech, but it earned a notable bleep from the censors nonetheless.
Diane Keaton’s Speech Was Muted At The 2014 Golden Globes
With Woody Allen continuing his tradition of avoiding the award show circuit, longtime costar Diane Keaton was left to accept his Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award for him. As she took the award and began her speech, the actress triggered the censors by saying, “If Woody saw this, he’d say, ‘Get the hook and get her off the godd–n stage.’” Unfortunately, the censors kicked in too late, muting her entire next sentence rather than the word they deemed offensive.
Kevin Hart Gets Bleeped During #OscarsSoWhite Speech In 2016
Though Kevin Hart wasn’t accepting an award when he got bleeped, he was delivering a moving speech about diversity and, specifically, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“These problems of today will eventually become problems of the old,” he said at the ceremony. “Let’s not let this negative issue of diversity beat us, let’s continue to do what we do best.”
He then went on to congratulate the other actors and actresses of color who were nominated, although it was unclear exactly what he said because his final statements were bleeped. Twitter users were confused and left speculating as to what exactly he said that prompted censorship.