Whenever you broadcast anything to millions of people, every detail will receive some level of scrutiny. So there is always someone complaining. There is always some controversy. But some broadcasts take it to a whole new level and cause international outrage. There are many controversial tv shows which have been cancelled and largely forgotten. But most are remembered even more for their controversy. Here are the ten most controversial tv shows.
Two years ago, Discovery Channel aired a show in which a man attempted to be eaten by a snake. The plan was for him to wear a metal suit of Armour do that the anaconda wouldn’t kill him. They wanted him to be swallowed alive, head first, and survive. This was condemned by animal rights groups who claimed it was abuse. Discovery channel claimed the whole thing was to promote conservation. The man was smeared in pigs blood to ensure the snake attacks him. This did nothing to comfort the animal rights groups. The worst part is that he was never eaten alive – he backed out when it got too painful.
My Husband’s Not Gay
Last year TLC aired a reality show called my husband’s not gay. It basically features a group if gay Mormons who pretend to be heterosexual. They don’t call themselves gay, but admit finding other men attractive. They all hang around in one big group and some of them even have wives and children. Their wives get really offended when anyone thinks they are gay, which makes the whole thing quite funny, especially considering how incredibly gay they are. The show caused controversy for obvious reasons.
The Wild Wild West
The wild wild west was a popular show about 2 secret service agents working in the Old West. To our modern eyes it’s a pretty dull show, with unrealistic use of violence and special effects. But it was aired during the 1960s, when people were easily freaked out, especially politicians. The US congress signaled out the Wild Wild West as being particularly dangerous. They didn’t want young people to grow up as Old West gunslingers. So Congress made a deal with CBS to have the show cancelled. They taught the reason someone killed Martin Luther King was because of shows like this one.
Fear Factor was among the first reality shows. In each episode people would compete for 50 thousand dollars by doing things that scare them. Such things could be anything from skydiving to drinking 5 gallons of donkey urine. Joe Rogan hosted the show and would openly mock the contestants. Some of their more controversial challenges involved eating live insects. Fear Factor was ultimately cancelled after contestants were challenged to drink donkey semen. It was a great show.
Two years ago Adult Swim aired their first non-animated show, Black Jesus. The premise of the show is that Jesus Christ returns to Earth and is now living in Compton. He doesn’t do much other than grow Marijuana with his friends and use the N-word a lot. This, of course, is controversial in the eyes of religious groups. I just don’t think they are ready to hear Jesus dropping N bombs.
Squirrel And Hedgehog
At first Squirrel and Hedgehog seems like an innocent children’s cartoon. But really it’s a North-Korean propaganda show. You might wonder why the North-Korean people are always so loyal to their dictator. It’s because they have their children watch tv shows like this one. The Squirrel and his community of other animals represent North-Korea. Japan and America are represented by evil weasels. The weasels are always attempting to disrupt the Utopian community where the squirrel lives. Despite being a children’s cartoon, the show features some incredibly violent scenes. It’s basically teaching that capitalist nations are full of savages who need to be killed.
Moving onto a very different cartoon, South Park is even more controversial. To be more controversial that a North-Korean propaganda show is quite impressive. It’s creators have used the show to mock everyone from the church of Scientology to Mexicans. They describe themselves as “equal opportunity offenders” as in they make jokes at the expense of all groups of people. Their biggest controversy came in 2001 when they depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad. At this point we all know depicting Muhammad was a pretty dangerous thing. People warned them against airing the episode, stating the possibility of assassination. But they did air the episode. It was censored in a lot of places. A lot of people went mental over it.
All My Babies’ Mamas
I was tempted to list this show as number one as it was cancelled before it was aired. Not a single episode of the show has ever been run on tv. All My Babies’ Mamas showcases the life of the rapper Shawty Lo. Instead of his career in music, the show focuses on him having 11 children by 10 different mothers. So before the show ran, campaigns wanted it cancelled, saying it glamorizes having as many children as possible without the means to care for them. But to be honest it’s not much worse than the other reality shows these days.
A few years ago, Channel 4 ran a documentary series called Benefits Street. It’s about a group of people living on welfare in the same neighborhood. It’s a pretty dull show, basically just showing people do nothing all day. The show is only noteworthy for the controversy it caused. Many people featured in the show ended up receiving death threats. The office of communications investigated the show’s producers, thinking it was an illegal production. It turned out to be legal. But that was only the end of one controversy. A lot of people thought it was an immoral production as it was insensitive to those in poverty.
Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos
Until recently there was a popular show called Australia’s Funniest Home Videos, where people would send in their own footage. This inspired a different show called Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos, in which people would send in some quite different footage. It wasn’t usually porn – but it wasn’t far off. The show was actually cancelled while the pilot episode was being shown. It was the quickest cancellation of any tv show up until All My Babies’ Mamas took it’s place.
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