15 Classic TV Shows That Wouldn't Fly If They Aired Today

Kayla Boyd | Aug 17, 2017 TV
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In today's society we have moved away from certain things on TV including overt racism, LGBTQ+ mockery, and severe body-shaming. Not that those things are totally eradicated from the media, but popular culture has definitely made some improvements. 

Looking back, some of the shows we grew up loving weren't always sending the best messages. Here are 15 shows that probably wouldn't last too long if they aired the same episodes today. 

  • Fat Camp

    1

    This docuseries that aired on MTV in 2006 included fat-shaming, slut-shaming, and severe body dysmorphia. The drama between these young people was way too unhealthy to showcase and the self-ridicule was heartbreaking. Luckily, today we are in the midst of a body-positive movement that would never let this fly. 

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  • Friends

    2

    Friends is one of the most beloved sitcoms to this day; however, there were MANY scenes involving homophobia, fat-shaming, and cultural appropriation. From Monica's fat suit to her cornrows, there were so many cringeworthy moments that it definitely wouldn't get airtime today. 

  • Ren & Stimpy

    3

    This show would actually be able to run today IF it appeared on Adult Swim. Aside from being just straight-up gross most of the time, the crude jokes and violence were way too aggressive to still play on Nickelodeon. 

  • All in the Family

    4

    Many people loved this show, but it unarguably included a ton of racist and sexist remarks from Archie Bunker. Although the show never made it seem like he was right, this would still cause even more controversy today than it did back then. 

  • Seinfeld

    5

    This beloved sitcom pushed a lot of boundaries, but it definitely went overboard a few times. There were a few episodes that were too controversial to air again, including one that involved blatant racism and another that showed an irresponsible reference to Kennedy's assassination. 

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  • The Swan

    6

    This reality show gathered a bunch of women who thought they were "ugly"and pit them each other to see who could become a beautiful "swan" ... which involved all of them getting plastic surgery! Sounds like a pretty dangerous way to encourage women to be confident. 

  • He's a Lady

    7

    This 2004 reality show consisted of a group of heterosexual men competing for a cash prize. The competition? They had to cross-dress, try to pass for women in public, and do different "women-like" challenges. Not only are we trying to move away from idiotic gender stereotypes, but this is completely offensive to the LGBTQ community.

  • Married With Children

    8

    This show is another one that had a large impact at the time; however, it included a whole lot of misogyny, fat-shaming, and cultural insensitivity, and it made jokes about mental health and suicide. Not cool.  

  • Betty Boop

    9

    For a cartoon, this was highly sexualized. Everything about Betty Boop was sensual from her mini dress and garter to her voice and body language. Although an iconic character, she's definitely not suitable for children today. 

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  • Animaniacs

    10

    This is another classic cartoon that tried a little too hard to incorporate adult humor. It often crossed the line with overly sexualized characters and references that were way too inappropriate for young children. 

  • Bosom Buddies

    11

    Another "lovely" example of cis men cross-dressing for humor and mocking members of the LGBTQ community.

  • That '70s Show

    12

    While overall the show focused on empowering female characters like Donna, the racial stereotypes that surrounded Fez would definitely not fly today. 

  • Sex and the City

    13

    I love this show as much as the next fashion-obsessed independent woman, and I do think that this show could work today if there were some changes made. There were far too many instances of fat-shaming and there was also a sizable amount of insensitivity involving race

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  • Looney Tunes

    14

    We've all watched the Looney Tunes at some point in time, but as kids we probably didn't notice the projected racial stereotypes. Plus the absurd amount of violence -- which included heavy objects falling on their heads, falling off of cliffs, and even guns -- was pretty prevalent. 

  • Beauty and the Geek

    15

    Everything is wrong with this show in its entirety. It took stereotypical versions of "nerdy" men and paired them with conventional stereotypes of "hot" women. It was degrading and ridiculous. 

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