TV Taboo’s are something which you never see on TV because the networks are afraid of offending and/or losing viewers. Talking about AIDS was one, which shows like A Different World help abolish. But while some of these taboos make sense, a lot of them were just plain silly. Would you believe when Murphy Brown was pregnant there was an uproar about an unmarried single mother? I mean, there are single parents in the world Dan Quayle! Here are five taboo’s which were so silly that they have not been considered taboo in years.
#5.Can’t Have a Gay Character be a Lead Character
Gay characters were around in the 70’s and 80’s but the usually were minor characters in trhe show. Take Billy Crystal in Soap who whose character was very gay but aÂ minor role. Or they pretended to be gay but they were sure to show how non gay they were like Jack Tripper in Three’s Company. Of course this made no sense, what difference did it make if the lead character was gay? Ellen Degerneres shattered this one which led to shows such Will & Grace and Modern Family.
#4.Interracial Kissing is OUT!
Star Trek’s awful episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” will always have a place in history. Why? Because it featured the first interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura. I suppose in the racially sensitive era of the 60’s this sort of makes sense, but I am sure glad this little episode came along and shattered that barrier. It’s just dumb, if two people are in love color shouldn’t matter. In real life, or in a TV program!
#3.Don’t Show the Toilet!
I touched upon this before but there was a time on TV when you couldn’t show a toilet. I don’t mean someone using, I mean just having it in the bathroom. Why?? What’s so bad? I can understand, maybe, not showing people using a toilet but, WTF? Norman Lear shattered many taboo’s on his shows including having a main character having an Abortion (Maude), showing the first on screen birth, and not only did we see the toilet but we heard it flushing.
#2.Married People in Separate Beds
This one is idiotic, and was one of the first abolished thanks to The Brady Bunch, among others. The best example may be from The Dick Van Dyke show where we famously saw Rob and Laura had two beds! The famous gag is, well then how did they have Little Richie then? This just made no sense, I mean married couple shared beds in the real world why would people frown seeing it on TV? I suppose I could understand if they weren’t married (maybe) but they were. So what was the problem?? As I said The Brady Bunch was one of the pioneers for doing away with this, showing Mike and Carol in the same bed frequently.
#1.Don’t Use the Word Pregnant! (what?)
Know what was worst than the previous choice? This one has baffled me for years! Not only were they not able to use the word (they were “expecting) but you couldn’t even show a pregnant woman! Not to say anything about the actual childbirth. Forget that! Again, I might be able to understand this if we are talking about, for example, a teenage character. But a married woman? Didn’t married people have sex in the 50’s? I don’t get and while I am not sure exactly when this finally got phased out, I am just very happy it finally did.
Hey, all this baby talk reminds me of an article I have been putting off. Maybe I can finally get it out before we jump into holiday mode. If I missed any taboo’s you think are worth mentioning, please comment and share.