Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, the Oscar winner, 56, was asked by Elizabeth Vargas to speak in the accent of one of the characters from his new movie Cloud Atlas.
"Most of it is swear words," he warned. Then, in a thick accent, he said, "I want people to f–––ing …" – before stopping himself, slapping his hand to his mouth, and quickly apologizing.
"Man oh man, I'm sorry," he said. "I have never done that before. I want to apologize to the kids in America that are watching this right now, and let me say next time on the show there will be a seven-second delay."
Vargas, who looked stunned, also apologized on behalf of the network.
"Once again, my apologies to the people of the United States of America," Hanks added.