These 7 Things Were Considered Too Scandalous For TV – Mild Compared To Today’s Programming!
Television standards and societal norms have shifted significantly over the years, allowing for more diverse and explicit content on the screen. What was once considered scandalous or controversial in the past may seem relatively mild compared to the programming of today, which can push boundaries in terms of content, language, and themes. Here are seven things that were once considered too scandalous for TV:
1. The Wicked Witch
The character of the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) was indeed considered frightening for young audiences at the time. Today’s television often includes much darker and scarier characters and themes, making the Wicked Witch seem mild in comparison.
2. Capri Pants
In the 1950s and 1960s, women’s fashion on TV was relatively conservative. Capri pants, which were shorter than traditional women’s trousers, were considered a daring fashion statement back then. Today, fashion on TV is much more diverse and can include a wide range of styles and outfits.
3. Toilet Humor
In the 1950s and 1960s, depictions or discussions related to toilets were consistently censored on television to steer clear of any perceived impropriety. The pivotal moment came in 1973 with “All In the Family,” when viewers heard, though didn’t see, Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O’Connor, flushing a toilet. This marked the inaugural instance of a toilet flush on primetime TV. It’s worth noting that in a prior episode of “Leave It To Beaver,” there was a daring portrayal of a toilet tank.
4. The Same Bed
In the early days of television, the depiction of married couples sharing the same bed was considered taboo. Lucy and Ricky on “I Love Lucy” famously slept in twin beds with a headboard console, which was considered somewhat unconventional for television at the time. However, in the episode titled “First Stop,” both couples, Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel, were shown sharing beds. While this might have raised some eyebrows among viewers, the comedic brilliance of the scenes allowed the show to push the boundaries of what was acceptable on primetime TV. Today, it’s common to see intimate scenes and bedroom interactions between characters in various TV shows.
5. Jeannie’s Belly Button
In “I Dream of Jeannie,” Barbara Eden’s character, Jeannie, had to hide her belly button due to concerns about it being too suggestive. Today, TV shows often include much more overtly sexual content without censorship.
6. With Child
Network executives were not thrilled about Lucy being pregnant, and the word “pregnant” was strictly off-limits on the air. Instead, phrases like “with child” or “having a baby” were employed on I Love Lucy. Despite this, the episode where she gives birth is considered one of the funniest on the show. However, at that time, describing the delivery or having Ricky in the delivery room with her was simply unheard of and not done.
7. Elvis’ Gyrations
Elvis Presley’s hip gyrations were considered scandalous by many in the 1950s, and TV producers often filmed him from the waist up to avoid showing his suggestive dance moves. Today, music videos and live performances often feature explicit choreography and outfits, making Elvis’ moves seem innocent by comparison.