The most un-PC TV shows ever released

Doctor Who
Banned
Back again
Family Guy by Seth Macfarlene
The premise
Why so un-PC?
Fawlty Towers
The fateful episode
All episodes are available for streaming
Heathers
'No way' to second season
Available for streaming on Amazon
Little Britain
The actors agreed it was pushing the limits
Gone were those days
Friends
Which parts of the show did people complain about?
Only attractive after losing weight
Benidorm
Not quite the show one had hoped for
Not amused
Brass Eye -  C4 2001
Fake news
The most complained about show on British TV ever
South Park
The 200th episode
The show is still going strong
Skins
A wide range of delicate issues
There was an American version
Married... with Children
A hit
Not for today's audience
Two and a Half Men
Promiscuous behaviour and no female role-models
A TV show 'just for men'
Doctor Who

That's right, this completely harmful, disrespectful BBC show that's been running for decades. Does it seem crazy that it should appear on this list? Not for the Chinese it doesn't...

Banned

It was China's decision back in 2011 to come down hard on any media which featured the use of time travel, as the censors deemed it "frivolous" and disrespectful of history. So they took the TV show off the air for its un-PC theme.

Back again

However in 2020, BBC Worldwide cut a deal with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to distribute the entire 'Doctor Who' series in the country again, which is a sigh of relief as even Winnie the Pooh still remains banned in China (The snuggly bear was likened to Chinese President Xi Jinping by online users).

Family Guy by Seth Macfarlene

'Family Guy,' the an American animated TV series created and developed by Seth Macfarlene and David Zuckerman, premiered on January 31, 1999. Described as 'Sick, twisted, politically incorrect and freakin' sweet,' the show has been a raving success.

The premise

The series centres around the Griffins, a family that consists of parents Peter and Lois with their 3 children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie (the psychopathic baby who is constantly plotting to kill his mother); not forgetting their dog Brian who for all intense and purposes is human. It is set in the fictional city of Quahog in Rhode Island and follows the crazy adventures of this dysfunctional family.

Why so un-PC?

Never ones to pull any punches, this show makes fun of everybody and everything, from religion to sexuality, disease and death. Many episodes have involved politicians as well as celebrities and they certainly don’t hold back.

Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers - staring John Cleese - is often named the "greatest ever British TV sitcom". But the 1970s TV series was so un-PC that is even had an episode pulled from streaming by the BBC.

The fateful episode

This British classic has been singled out for one episode in particular: 'The Germans,' broadcast in October of 1975. After taking a blow to the head, Basil temporarily loses what little filter he has. He harasses the Germans about WW2, and then, in one of the most iconic scenes in British comedy, imitates the Nazi salute with his classic silly walk. This episode alone has been removed from UKTV.

All episodes are available for streaming

For now, all episodes remain in place on Britbox and Prime video. However, BritBox includes a warning about the racist language. The inept Basil Fawlty continued to attempt to bring class to his broken-down Torquay hotel.

Heathers

Initially only delayed for its content, this TV show was finally pulled by Paramount just a month before its premier, after its extremely delicate theme - high school shootings - put the producers in a difficult position. It was aired finally a few months later with numerous cuts and changes.

'No way' to second season

The 10-episode series had already been produced, but it was uncomfortable to air, especially after the Douglas High School shooting in 2018, when 17 were killed in Florida. The 10 episodes became 9 in the end and any thoughts of a second season were quickly banished.

Available for streaming on Amazon

The show is based on the movie from 1989, but many were extremely unhappy with the series that followed. Yet, as it represented teen angst, isolation, self esteem and depression, others thought that the black comedy was a good representation of the youth of today.

Little Britain

This Matt Lucas and David Walliams series has been pulled from a number of services and platforms due to portrayals of characters from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The actors agreed it was pushing the limits

Both actors have been quoted saying they would probably do things differently now, due to the current cultural landscape. The show has been criticised for perpetuating unkind stereotypes about working-class people, those with physical and mental disabilities and for generally being misogynistic.

Gone were those days

What was once a comedy series loved by all, 'Little Britain' has since been pulled from BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and BritBox. Matt Lucas continues to act in less risky roles, while David Walliams has really toned it down and written Award-Winning children's books.

Friends

After Netflix decided to air all 10 seasons of the famous 90s show in 2018, many viewers complained about a number of problematic scenes. Following the lives of six friends living in Manhattan as they survive day to day problems such as romance and work, the show has now been deemed homophobic and misogynistic.

Which parts of the show did people complain about?

You may remember the episode where Ross is extremely uncomfortable about his daughter's nanny being a man. He is portrayed to believe that it is more of a woman's job. Adding to the fact that the male nanny was stereotypically portrayed on the show to be overly sensitive, it didn't go down well with the more modern-day public.

Only attractive after losing weight

The show has several running jokes that appear to have offended viewers, one of which being the continuous jokes about the size of Monica, who is only deemed attractive after she has lost weight. That's right, this is now considered fat-shaming.

Benidorm

The show that saw many laughs at the expense of British holidaymakers at a resort in Benidorm, turned ugly after a scandalous episode.

Not quite the show one had hoped for

Benidorm, which was dropped back in 2018 by ITV, depicted a very controversial scene. A white entertainer who was singing at Neptune's Bar, can be seen wearing blackface. As the dictionary describes, blackface is "dark makeup worn (as by a performer in a minstrel show) in a caricature of the appearance of a black person."

Photo: ITV

Not amused

The scene showed that most of the white audience were singing and clapping along with the entertainer. Many were shocked at the statement, however in Spain it is not particularly controversial, as at Christmas it's common to practice blackface with one of the three wise men being of African origin.

Brass Eye - C4 2001

Chris Morris’s 'Brass Eye' was a scathing satirical attack on the media. The show delighted in pushing as many buttons as possible, as Morris, playing a typically arrogant news anchor, hosted a fake news show. Pre-dating fake news by decades, the show was a lawyer’s worst nightmare as British politicians and celebrities were tricked into talking on the show about topics that were obviously not real.

Fake news

Chris Morris’s series reached its peak with its p****philia special, making fun of tabloid hysteria and mocking less-than-intelligent celebrities by tricking them into thinking that p***philes share DNA with crabs. A media storm duly followed, with the Daily Star’s criticisms and politicians pompously denouncing the programme before having to admit that they hadn’t actually seen it.

The most complained about show on British TV ever

Brass Eye sent the watchdog phone lines into overdrive. It was the most complained about show on British TV ever. Morris was even discussed in parliament, he had touched so many nerves. The British tabloids responded in mass to Morris's spiteful jibes towards the media, therefore proving the point Morris had been making all along...

South Park

One of the most politically incorrect TV shows ever. Created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the anarchic animated show is definitely not for kids. From racism and homophobia to religion and even Tom Cruise coming out of the closet; nothing was sacred as the animated cast of Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Eric braved alien a*al probes, Chef’s chocolate salty balls and a Christmas poo.

The 200th episode

Well, even by South Park standards, the 200th instalment was full on, ridiculing almost every major religious figure with a relish that made the Jeremy Kyle show look like the Antiques Roadshow.

The show is still going strong

The creators, Parker and Stone, received death threats from radical Islamists, and the series was banned in Sri Lanka for depicting, among other things, Buddha taking drugs. Always controversial, the show is now in its 21st season and still going strong.

Skins

The British teen drama pulled no punches. With a young cast including Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel and Jack O’Connell, the series found pleasure in showing us everything that’s great about being a teenager, especially the stuff parents do not want to think about.

A wide range of delicate issues

Skins confronted issues that ranged from dysfunctional families, mental illness, adolescent sexuality, gender, substance abuse, death and bullying.

There was an American version

The American version lasted for just one season. It proved to be way too hot for MTV.

Married... with Children

Here's another classic TV show that wouldn’t make it on the air today for so many reasons. Long before 'Modern Family,' Ed O’Neill was the TV father of the Bundys.

A hit

His character on 'Married... with Children', Al Bundy, was a vulgar and misogynist shoe salesman and a once-celebrated high school football player. The show was a huge success in the late 80s and continued in popularity right through to the late 90s.

Not for today's audience

However, because of all its crude jokes about women, gay people, and pretty much everyone else, no studio would touch it in today's climate.

Two and a Half Men

A show that didn’t end all that long ago but probably wouldn’t get made today. The successful comedy first aired in 2003, and yes, it is likely it wouldn't end up in a primetime lineup nowadays without receiving some serious complaints.

Promiscuous behaviour and no female role-models

People would probably have an issue with Charlie Harper’s womanizing ways and would be uncomfortable with many of the female characters being treated as lust objects. Not the ideal environment to raise a young child.

A TV show 'just for men'

In fact, we all know that Charlie Sheen, just like his on-screen character, suffered from alcohol abuse. The reviews were poor, despite its success, with one reviewer even writing: 'It's hilarious, it's crude. And it's just for men.' That says it all really!

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