Americans Not As Receptive To “The C Word” Says Wilfred Creator

The critical response to FX’s Wilfred reboot has been warm, but Jason Gann (star, writer and co-creator) is still mindful of the nuanced but not insignificant differences between Australian and American television audiences. He won’t introduce other anthropomorphic characters for one, a practice he employed in the original but scrapped here to avoid confusing the audience or blurring the show’s wacky internal logic. He also thinks the US version “isn’t as tough or as dark”, which, considering it opens with a stoic suicide scene, illustrates just how fucked up and macabre the original was. Most importantly though, US viewers aren’t as receptive to the word cunt as Aussies are. A fact Gann noticed when he screened the Tropfest winning short from which Wilfred is based at Sundance. Lesson? Don’t frivolously deploy C-Bombs in America.

Gaan tells Collider: It’s a real fine balance, getting that Wilfred character right. It’s in the writing and it’s in the playing. More thought goes into it than people think. It’s a real fine line between having a character that’s sabotaging someone’s life and still have you root for that character, at the same time. I remember when the short film played at Sundance and Wilfred used the “C” word, half-way through. In Australia, you just get the best response. That word doesn’t wash real well in America. At Sundance, the audience just stopped laughing and I could feel this tension in the room. There was animosity for Wilfred and I was like, “Holy shit, this isn’t good.”