Accents are a lot like political opinions, in that, most people have them, the majority are terrible and some are incomprehensible. Perhaps no individual’s accent has caused more bafflement though than the one belonging to actor Richard Madden, a man whose Scottish brogue resulted in implied sex between a mother and son.
To explain, Madden is a big-dick Scottish actor most people reading this will probably recognise as the actor who played Rob Stark in Game of Thrones.
Now in Game of Thrones Madden was forced to suppress his natural Scottish accent because he was tasked with playing Sean Bean’s son, AKA the most Yorkshire man in the entire world. As an aside, Bean famously told producers to fuck off when asked if he’d speak without his distinctive Yorkshire accent after they noticed none of the actors playing his kids could emulate it very well. After Bean said no the majority of the actors playing his children, Madden amongst them, then had to go watch a bunch of old Sean Bean movies to learn to better mimic him. A feat we gather was especially difficult given how Bean dies halfway through most of those movies.
Getting back to Madden, in 2018 he was cast as the titular protector of bodies in a BBC crime-drama called Bodyguard. A show in which he was allowed to speak with his native Scottish accent as well as wear a suit sharp enough to give a diamond tiger a paper cut.
In addition to having to wear increasingly baller looking suits, Madden was required to learn a bunch of bodyguard jargon so as to more convincingly play the role, one aspect of which was always referring to his co-star Keeley Hawes as ma’am. The proper and polite way for a bodyguard to refer to a female principle.
The problem is, the way Madden pronounced ma’am with his Scottish accent made it sound an awful lot like the word “mom”. While this wasn’t that much of an issue for British people watching the show, it was apparently wildly confusing for Americans when the show ended up on Netflix.
You see, according to numerous reviews of the show, many Americans watching it were unfamiliar with both Madden’s Scottish accent as well as the fact ma’am is the proper way of addressing a woman in a position of authority for bodyguards and the like. As a result, many Americans watching genuinely thought that Madden was protecting his own mother in the show. Something that wouldn’t have been that big a deal if not for the fact that in the third episode of the show those two character start fucking. Like, a lot.
Amazingly, rather than assuming they were mistaken or you know, turning on the subtitles to see what Madden was actually saying, a number of people watching jumped to the inexplicable conclusion that Madden’s character was fucking his own mother. An assumption they acted under for several episodes until they realised that nobody seemed bother by the fact the show’s main character was balls-deep in the woman who brought him into the world.
Isn’t TV fun?