Patriot Act being taken off-air wasn’t a shock. For reasons both calming and unnerving, speaking truth to power often has its price. But so does being politically incorrect.
Over the years, certain shows have ruffled feathers of political politeness. Sometimes unavoidable, but sometimes plain unnecessary. Might be interesting to just look back at 7 shows scrutinized for the scandals – both on script and off.
This show is retrospectively spoken of with fondness. Maybe that’s why the murkier details of its cast members are forgotten. By design. The actor who voiced for Elmo, Kevin Clash once bid the show goodbye following public allegations that he had sexual relations with a 16 year old boy. Back then, Clash was 45.
Interestingly, in 1969 the show was labelled as being fit to view only by adults. From its African puppet characters to featuring Osama Bin Laden’s posters on the show, Sesame Street isn’t all child’s play.
While a number of analytical pieces have called out past hits for their problematic content, Seinfeld has had a problematic cast member as well. While the character of Cosmo Kramer was quite the hit with audiences, the actor who played Kramer wasn’t as beloved. His 2006 episode where he unleashed a racist rant while performing at a show. Though a number of apologies followed soon after, Kramer was never the same.
Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court entertained a complaint filed against comedian Vir Das headlined dark comedy Netflix outing, Hasmukh. The show revolves around a comedian who, for a ton of reasons, goes around killing people who’ve committed some wrong or the other. He later performs a stand-up special on those very people. Naturally, despite disclaimers that the characters had no real life persons to seek inspiration from, we all know how that works. The complainants found the fourth episode of the show particularly troubling.
But again, Netflix in India is no stranger to dissenting opinions. Leila and Sacred Gamesare predecessors.
This kind of had it coming, when they zeroed in on that name, didn’t they? This award winning chat show hosted by Bill Maher went on for about six seasons doing exactly what the title suggests it would. But clearly surpassing the boundary line, Maher had this to say a week or less after the 9/11 Tragedy. “We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.”
Advertisements soon dried out and so did the show in 2002.
The Cosby Show
This one’s become kind of a template for other TV personalities to follow. On how nasty and downhill things can get. I distinctly remember hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joking about Bill Cosby in their opening monologue for the 2015 Golden Globes event. Sending out gasps through the audience. Well, Cosby, once America’s Sweetheart, much like Julia Roberts, found himself in the dumps amidst allegations of sexual assault. Over 40 women came up with their complaints. Things have never been the same for the Cosby Show star.
While the sitcom was wrapped up in 1992, the legacy remains tainted.
The $64,000 Question
The scandal surrounding this quiz show went through the roof. So much so, that the US Congress got involved. What as telecast as being a genuine, nail-biting event was revealed to be a result of genius game-fixing. The contestants on the show were allegedly coached and fed answers into for the circus of a game show.
Not your KBC, this.
I Love Lucy
I actually love I Love Lucy. Most of us who’ve watched this show, do. It’s the stuff our parents grew up watching and soon became a classic. And the lead character’s famous faux pas action are actually to blame for this one. In one of the episodes, Lucy and her family tug to Cuba on a holiday. Though Lucy tried hard to impress her husband’s Cuban relatives, but fails miserably – in true blue hilarious Lucy style. One of her lines in the episode goes, ““With what I did last night Cuba may cut off America’s sugar supply”. While the line may seem ANYTHING but scandalous, remember the times. We’re talking 1956 when US-Cuban relations had rocketed downwards.
But again, even for the wildest of imaginations, the episode in question is FAR from being incendiary. Even by the standards of this very list!
Scandalous enough? Or blurred lines?