8 TV Shows That Were Controversial for the Most Ridiculous Reasons

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Whether it’s through a television set or a computer screen, TV has had a massive influence on popular culture and our society at large for decades. Just think about how memorable TV shows or commercials from your childhood are, even years later when so many other memories have become a blur. Comedy has been shaped by everything from I Love Lucy to Seinfeld. The Civil Rights Movement gained support after horrific footage of police brutality against protesters was shown on the news. Jennifer Aniston‘s hairstyle on Friends became an international sensation, and women were legitimately going to their hairdressers and asking for the “Rachel.” Nixon looked less attractive than JFK in the first ever televised political debate in 1960, which helped him lose the election. Television is often the first medium to really break the mold when it comes to societal taboos, with everything from interracial relationships to coming out of the closet to addressing issues like abortion or gun violence. And today, nearly 90 years after the first television broadcast, some critics believe we’re in the middle of a golden age of television, as it becomes more diverse and more adventurous than ever before.

But, of course, television has its critics, and often there’s a lot of fair criticism of what’s put out there. People have rightfully called out television shows that have been openly racist or sexist, and even the news media is being blamed for the popularity of Donald Trump, after giving him countless hours of free press and little criticism because, hey, ratings! And there are shows out there that make it a point to be controversial, like South Park. Still, for all the legit controversy that television can draw, there are times when everyone’s pearl clutching isn’t all that justified and is flat out ridiculous. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out these eight TV shows that were controversial for ridiculous reasons. A few of your faves might be included.

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