Television issues changes with cultural acceptance

By Christina Williams
April 22, 2004

Most students could not imagine a day in which they would not hear sexual innuendos and foul language on their favorite television shows. However, most students’ parents and even grandparents remember these times.

The infamous Production Code promoted by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America governed what the viewer saw on television in relation to family life between men and women. On old television shows, such as “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “I Love Lucy,” husband and wife would never be seen in the same bed. In both shows there were twin bed in the parents’ room.

On today’s television there are can be seen people sleeping in each other’s beds. Whether it is two people in a platonic relationship, like Dawson and Joey from “Dawson’s Creek,” or a romantic relationship, like Ross and Rachel from “Friends,” today’s society sees nothing wrong with this type of behavior.

The Production Code even affected the way relationships on television were portrayed. Most people laugh when they hear the rule about keeping one foot on the floor when kissing, but the Production Code enforced this idea on old television shows. If anyone has seen MTV’s “The Real World” we all know no one keeps one foot on the floor in the real world.

It was not only family shows that had to abide by the Production Code, but talk shows as well. Many singers on the “Ed Sullivan Show” were only taped from the waste up. Many people remember Elvis appearing on the Ed Sullivan and being broadcasted from the waste up. Elvis may have been the first one edited on Ed Sullivan’s show but not in television history.

The first person to be censored on television was Eddie Cantor in 1944 on NBC. Cantor was a controversial artist for his time. Two of his hit songs were considered risqu

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Christina Williams

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