So, Oscar night... Why did they have Amy Adams sing the boring song and Kristin sing the more fun one?
Anyway, let's talk about Campbell Robertson's "james earl jones curses" story. Why do more people notice it now than when Ned Beatty did it? Is it indeed, as the end of the story says, that it might be "the shock comes from watching the actor known from "On Golden Pond," "Star Wars" and CNN get so down and dirty?" Or is it a color thing? After all, those are the options.. and there are options...
One way of looking at why people didn't notice it from Beatty, is Beatty seems like he often does yell and scream and curse. Whereas I don't see James Earl Jones cursing. Mostly because James Earl Jones is more classical and mannered. Beatty seems like he could be a scrapper--so it wouldn't stick out when he did it.
The other way of looking at it, is because this is an all-black cast, people notice it because they think it is the producers' attempt to make the show more hip and urban. I know people who buy this reasoning. But, let me tell you, the only people who notice it and would have this viewpoint are theater people. Because it wouldn't really make sense for the producers to do this purposely--for people who are used to hearing curses and don't know Cat on a Hot Tin Roof--they won't notice them. Would a younger crowd really be more likely to recommend a show because people curse in it? I suppose you could argue that it makes the show seem more current and therefore younger folks would be happier with it, but, well, that's not true. Cursing isn't really a current thing. And, again, I don't think most younger people will notice them. Now, sure, you could argue that while they wouldn't stick out, they'd add to an edgy feeling, but I just don't buy it. If the play is going to seem dated, it's going to seem dated with or without salty language. (I've never used the phrase 'salty language' before and it feels very sailor--I love it.)
So, yeah, I'm backing the "James Earl Jones doens't seem like he would curse" approach. And I'm also fine with the curses... I don't think they add that much, but they don't bother me either. There are certainly shows with more!