What Shows Have Been Banned From Television?


Quick Answer

While no TV shows have been entirely banned from airing, particular episodes of many popular series have been banned, including “Seinfeld,” “The X-Files” and “Pokémon.” The episodes were banned for reasons as varied as cultural insensitivity, depictions of incest and actual public health problems.

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Full Answer

“The Puerto Rican Day,” a 1998 episode of the popular sitcom “Seinfeld,” features the cast leaving a crowded baseball game only to encounter traffic at the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. Kramer accidentally lights a Puerto Rican flag on fire with a sparkler and stomps out the flames, enraging the Puerto Rican crowd. The ensuring mob chase and vandalism scene offended the National Puerto Rican Coalition, and the outcry took the episode off the air.

Science fiction series “The X-Files” trafficked in unsettling plotlines, but the 1996 episode “Home” upped the show’s shock quotient with its depiction of an inbred family of mutants. The image of a quadriplegic mother sleeping with her deformed sons was too much for FOX, and the network pulled the episode after its premiere.

Japanese cartoon series “Pokémon” is one of the only TV shows ever banned due to actual public health concerns. “Electric Soldier Porygon,” a 1997 episode of the show, features a scene in which series mascot Pikachu shoots his thunderbolt attack at a machine, creating an explosion of flashing lights. The seizure-inducing light pattern sent around 600 children to the hospital, complaining of headaches, dizziness, nausea and even blindness.

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