As with anything else, a change in times brings with it a change in attitude toward gays, women, minorities and a host of other issues, and TV producers have to take these changes into account before giving their OK to a script.
Things like fat-shaming, racial stereotyping and transgenderism that were a source of humor in the past are now off-limits.
With that in mind, here are Newsmax’s list of the top 10 TV series that wouldn’t fly with today’s audiences, listen in alphabetical order.
"All in the Family"
Created by the legendary Norman Lear, this was one of CBS’s most popular sitcoms throughout the 1970s, and led to numerous spinoffs, including "Maude," "The Jeffersons," and "Archie Bunker’s Place."
Although enormously popular, it contained a heaping measure of racist and sexist commentary from the family’s patriarch, Archie Bunker. His remarks would be considered inappropriate for today’s easily offended and politically correct audiences, despite the fact that they made him the butt of his own jokes.
This was a cartoon series created for the big screen throughout the 1930s. In 1955 all 110 “Betty Boop” cartoons were sold to television for syndication. She later appeared in two TV specials: "The Romance of Betty Boop" in 1985, and "The Betty Boop Movie Mystery" in 1989.
However, if there was a single characterization that distinguished Betty, it was her highly sexualized nature. She wore a mini dress with her garter showing, spoke in a girly voice and exhibited a seductive body language. Betty Boop was an iconic mid-century character, but deemed unsuitable for children today.
Starring Tom Hanks and the late Peter Scolari, this was an ABC sitcom that ran for two seasons beginning in November 1980. Its premise was the very reason it couldn’t be produced today.
Two male friends have trouble finding a place to live in Manhattan that’s safe, clean, and affordable, until they learn about the Susan B. Anthony Hotel. The only problem is it’s for women only. So they throw caution to the wind and dress in drag to pass muster and gain admittance.
If "Bosom Buddies"were about two trans men (or at least gender-confused) friends, it would be deemed acceptable for today’s sensitive audience. It would also lose all its humor.
This was a 2006 MTV documentary series that followed five adolescents at a weight-loss camp in Pennsylvania called Camp Pocono Trails.
But today any discussion of weight is deemed “fat shaming,” no matter how well-intentioned the commentary may be. As a result we have Stacey Abrams gracing the cover of Vogue, and plus-size models in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit edition.
This was a popular NBC sitcom that ran from 1994 to 2004, depicting a 20-something woman who fled her wedding and moved in the apartment of a childhood friend, a chef who owns a West Village coffee shop. The chef’s circle of single friends becomes her new roommate’s friends.
Although its long run was proof of its popularity, it was peppered with moments that would be considered cringe-worthy today, including fat-shaming and homophobic comments.
In addition, the father of one member of the ensemble cast became a running punchline when he decided to transition to a woman.
This was a mid-century CBS sitcom starring the late, great Jackie Gleason as New York City bus driver Ralph Kramden, along his wife Alice. The couple’s best friends, Ed and Trixie Norton, who live in the same apartment building.
Although enormously popular and funny in its day, Alice was threatened with domestic violence in each episode. "One of these days," Ralph would say. "Pow, right in the kisser!" At other times he would shake his fist at his wife and threaten to send her "to the moon, Alice, to the moon." That prompted a running joke: who was the first person to land on the moon? Answer: Alice Kramden, 1956.
Although the threats were purely for comedy and Alice never took them seriously, they would be deemed inappropriate for today’s audiences.
"Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies"
This was a popular Saturday morning cartoon series, featuring a huge cast of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, and Porky Pig.
Although kids loved the series for decades after its mid-century launch, it’s filled with scenes that might be considered violent for today’s pampered kiddies. They include the use of firearms (by Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam) and huge falling objects (usually upon Wile E. Coyote).
Then there was Pepe LePew’s unwanted kissing and fondling lavished upon unsuspecting felines.
"Married... With Children"
This was a sitcom that aired from 1987 to 1997 on Fox Entertainment. It centered on Chicago-area former high school football star Al Bundy turned women’s shoe salesman, his wife Peggy and kids Kelly and Bud.
Even at the time of production this could be placed into the "raunchy" category, one that included scenes of an elderly man dressed in a woman's garter and stockings, and a scene where a gay man wears a tiara, prompting Al's line ". . . and they wonder why we call them 'queens'"). The series also included fat-shaming and jokes about suicide and mental illness.
This was a hugely popular NBC sitcom that ran from 1989 to 1998, depicting comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his wacky friends and neighbors. It was often described as a "show about nothing." It’s credited with having popularizing many popular phrases, including "Yada, yada, yada” and "No soup for you!"
However one such catchphrase — "not that there's anything wrong with that” — Was considered homophobic. It was used in an episode where Jerry and friend George were out together and had to repeatedly tell others that weren’t a gay couple, adding, "not that there's anything wrong with that."
But worse was an episode making an irresponsible reference to the Kennedy assassination, another that was blatantly racist, and a third in which Jerry drugged his girlfriend.
"That '70s Show"
This was a period sitcom that ran on Fox Entertainment from 1998 to 2006 that focused on the lives of nine Wisconsin teens.
In general the series was harmless, and even prompted two spinoffs: "That '80s Show" and "That '90s Show." The series often focused on empowering its female characters, however, the racial stereotyping of the character Fez would be considered out of bounds today.
He was depicted as Black, eternally sex-driven foreign exchange student.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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