The world of television is a wild and entertaining one, and it’s fair to say that every hour is better than the last. The stories change, characters come and go, locations are constantly different, and you’re always dealing with new and ever-changing emotions. Most of the time, these TV shows are commended for their creativity, but there are instances where people aren’t too happy with the content. In fact, these TV scenes were so controversial they had fans up in arms. The complaints came rolling in, and there was no stopping them…
Seinfeld is arguably one of the most famous sitcoms out there, and most fans were used to Jerry and the gang taking their jokes to the next level. However, during “The Puerto Rican Day” episode, the show managed to rile up a whole island.
During this episode, Jerry, Kramer, George, and Elaine make their way to Puerto Rico and then proceed to set fire to the national flag, while also stomping on it. This was seen as hugely disrespectful, and the episode garnered countless complaints from those who live in the territory.
The 100 is a post-apocalyptic drama show that has entertained viewers for years, but there was one particular episode that caused a ruckus. As we watched the passing of Lexa, fans couldn’t help but notice that they were writing one of the major LGBT characters out of the show.
They believed that this was the reason she was being written out, especially since she had just had a rather passionate romance with another LGBT character. Fans stated that her passing just wasn’t necessary, and hinted towards discrimination.
M*A*S*H was not opposed to making a statement, and that’s one of the reasons why fans tuned in every single week. They were also incredibly sad when it was announced that the show was coming off the air, but they knew that they would go out with a bang.
M*A*S*H didn’t disappoint, and the finale was emotional and slightly uncomfortable for those who were watching at home. They touched on topics surrounding war, mental health, and friendship, but some people thought that it was too honest for a fictional show.
Dawson’s Creek may have made waves as an awesome teen drama, but did you know that it also made waves for showcasing the first LGBT kiss on primetime television?
Before this point, physical displays of affection between LGBT couples were largely watered down for the sake of these television shows, which meant that this was a huge deal for LGBT representation in the media. Of course, there were some people who did not agree with this scene, and they wrote letters of complaints to show their distaste for the scene.
Maude made its way into our lives during the 1970s, when television shows were expected to follow certain rules and regulations. They weren’t allowed to touch on various subjects, but that didn’t stop Bea Arthur from doing so.
During the “Maude’s Dilemma” episode, Maude finds herself in a spot of bother when she discovers that she is pregnant. Instead of keeping the baby, Maude decides to terminate the pregnancy. For the 1970s, this was a hugely pivotal and controversial statement, because it was actually illegal at the time to do such a thing.
Lena Dunham is no stranger to controversy because she is incredibly open about her thoughts and beliefs – even if they do not match with the masses. Because of this, the HBO sitcom Girls was always going to cause some offense.
Although the storylines entertained those at home, it was Lena’s behavior and her appearance on the show that caused outrage. Fans were baffled as to why they saw her unclothed body so many times, and they didn’t understand why this had to be the case. Of course, others disagreed with this.
The X-Files is often regarded as one of the most nostalgic sci-fi shows ever to be created, and it was always known for being a little creepy. However, it took this to a whole new level in their “Home” episode.
This episode centered around a family that were in intimate and violent relationships with each other and was extremely graphic and gruesome. Fans complained about the content, so Fox made the decision to pull it from the air. Yet, when fans complained yet again, they decided to place it back into the syndication.
How I Met Your Mother
If you have ever seen the sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, you’ll know that it is the biggest cliffhanger. From the first episode, we are taken on a rollercoaster journey of finding out who the “mother” is.
We eventually get our answer, but then the ending takes another turn. After the kids’ mother passes away, Ted eventually gets back together with Robin, who he has dated numerous times in the past. Many fans were not impressed by the fact that the show had gone in a full circle, as they feel as though they did not get their resolution.
13 Reasons Why
When 13 Reasons Why came onto our screens, the audience was divided. While there were some people who commended the teen drama for being open and honest about mental health, there were others who thought the writers and producers had gone too far.
The first two seasons of the show have been incredibly controversial, but it was the season finale of season one that really got everyone talking. That’s because this episode showcases a young woman take her own life in graphic detail, and many believed this to be too inappropriate and triggering.
Game of Thrones
You could argue that every episode of Game of Thrones is controversial because George R.R Martin wanted to push the boundaries of societal norms within his writing, and the TV show honors that.
Yet, there is one scene that stuck out more than most, and it made viewers feel particularly unsettled. This scene involved Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton on their wedding night. Watching from the sidelines was Sansa’s brother, Theon Greyjoy, as well as those at home, who couldn’t help but hide behind their pillows as this scene unfolded.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It may seem as though Buffy the Vampire Slayer is simply showcasing the lives of vampires and monsters, but these stories actually explain something much deeper. During season six, we watch as Buffy and Spike break up – but Spike isn’t too happy about that.
He makes his way over to her house, and he forces himself on the young woman. This was an incredibly difficult scene to shoot, but the producers knew they had to bring such things to light. Unfortunately, fans at home didn’t think the same thing.
Before Ellen DeGeneres made waves as one of the most popular talk show hosts in the world, she rose to fame for her role within her very own sitcom called Ellen. Fans were excited to watch her fictional life unfold before their eyes, but they had no idea that Ellen was planning something incredible behind the scenes.
She actually wanted to coordinate her own coming out with her character’s coming out, but this was at a time where the conversation around LGBT relationships was not a common occurrence, and some people weren’t happy.
The Simpsons is the kind of show that you just can’t take seriously. You know that everything is for the sake of a joke, and you know that it’s all meant to be lighthearted. However, it seems as though this show often pushes past the line of funniness and makes its way into the realm of offensiveness.
During the “Blame It On Lisa” episode, many fans felt as though the people of Brazil were shown in a rude and derogatory light. In fact, the tourist board of Rio De Janeiro even tried to sue Fox over this representation.
Over the course of its run, NYPD Blue have not been shy about their characters showing more than their personalities to the world. They have often showcased their characters without any clothes on, and this was particularly true during the episode “Nude Awakening.”
In this episode, Charlotte Ross’s body was on full display within a seven-second segment, and people were immediately up in arms. The FCC got involved, an ABC was fined $1.2 million for inappropriate content. Thankfully, the fines were later rescinded and returned to the network.
American Horror Story: Hotel
There are many people who can’t watch the horror anthology series, American Horror Story, and it’s not hard to understand why that is the case. You sometimes have to have a strong stomach to cope with the imagery, and it seems as though fans with the strongest of stomachs couldn’t take one particular scene in Hotel.
This storyline features a character called the Addiction Demon, and its violent power over others in the series. Many felt as though AHS had taken this storyline way too far, and couldn’t watch it.
Family Guy is known for pushing the boundaries of comedy and picking up on various societal questions, and in “Partial Terms of Endearment” they certainly touched upon a controversial subject. After choosing to be a surrogate for her friend, Lois learns the devastating news that her friend has passed away.
Instead of keeping the baby and raising it herself, she decides to terminate the pregnancy. The episode wasn’t originally aired, but later sold as a DVD. This sparked a major debate between pro-life and pro-choice individuals both on and off the screen.
Tiny Toon Adventures
If you haven’t seen the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, “One Beer,” we wouldn’t be surprised. That’s because this episode was actually banned from television in the United States of America. The premise of this 1991 episode followed the lives of the young characters as they drank alcohol and became incredibly inebriated.
The episode came to an end when these characters eventually fell off a cliff and passed away. Fans were not happy with this storyline, and it was no wonder that it was banned. It was not the kind of episode that parents would want their kids to watch.
Roseanne may have come under a lot of scrutiny in the past year or so, but it’s not the first time this show and the actress herself have come under fire. In 1994, an episode called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” came onto our screens – and it certainly pushed the boundaries at the time.
This episode included an LGBT kiss, but the network wasn’t originally taken by the idea. They did not want to air the episode, but they eventually agreed, as long as they could put a parental guidance warning at the beginning of it.
Star Trek will forever be one of the most iconic sci-fi franchises in the world, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has fallen in love with the characters. In 1986, the world was graced with the “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode, and it’s safe to say that this didn’t go down well with fans at home.
While many praised the show for showcasing one of the first biracial kisses on television, there were others who were not a fan on this new take on the world. The BBC actually refused to show the episode until 1994.
Married With Children
There have been countless sitcoms over the years, and Married With Children will always be one of the best. In 1989, the producers created an episode called “I’ll See You In Court” that you may not have seen.
That’s because they eventually decided not to air it because they thought it would be too inappropriate for television. This story followed Peg and Al as they accidentally made their own adult tape. Although it was meant as a joke, they were concerned that some viewers would take it the wrong way.
The popular American comedy-drama, Skins, was first adapted from the UK version of the show, and it was an immediate hit. Following the lives of angsty teenagers, fans were outraged when they saw Chris without any clothes on.
At the time, he was just 17 years old, and many people were quick to rally around the fact that it was inappropriate to show unclothed minors on the television. The show and MTV itself was investigated, and many sponsors pulled their adverts from the network because they did not want to be associated with it.
Friends is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, and we all wished that we could visit Central Perk and hang out with the gang at least once. However, it’s fair to say that there was one aspect of this sitcom that divided the nation.
Were Ross and Rachel on a break? Did he technically cheat on her or did he not? The friends on the show had their own opinions on the matter, and so did fans at home. In fact, it seems as though we still haven’t come to a conclusion. The jury is still out.
Although Felicity was a hugely successful drama show, many people tuned in each week to see the beautiful Felicity strut her stuff on their screens. Her hair was particularly attractive, and fans were obsessed with her curls.
During one particular episode in season two, Felicity has her hair cut off, and her head shaved. While most of us know that this is not a big deal, hardcore fans of the show were not pleased. They received numerous complaints from viewers who did not like her new look.
Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black gives us an insight into life in an all-female American prison, and they have often tried to take on tough themes to make them more accessible to the general public.
That was the case when they decided to write the character of Poussey out of the show. To bring attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, Poussey was pinned down on the floor until she could no longer breathe. It’s believed that the writers were trying to showcase discriminations, but the nation was divided on its overall opinion.