I ran across a post on Facebook this morning where a question was asked, “So why did Lucy and Ricky sleep in separate beds? Was it for realz, or was it because the same bed was too much info for TV?” I spent a little bit trying to figure out the actual answer and it seems that the answers are split between, yes it was reality and no, it was television censorship. The biggest answer I saw was that it was too much to show viewers the couple in one bed at the time and so in the spirit of censorship, they chose to put them in two beds. Now, whether that is the truth or not, really isn’t the point here. What I realized when I started thinking about this was that TV censorship in general was so much better back then! Let me give you a few examples I found on Neatorama:
- In 1942, Tweety was originally drawn naked but producers believed it was too much so the artist added Tweety’s yellow feathers
- In 1952 when Lucy (I Love Lucy) became pregnant, the word pregnant was not allowed because it sounded sinful so they chose to say “with child”, “having a baby”, or “expecting”.
- In 1956 when Elvis began to gyrate his hips, the camera zoomed in for a close up of his face.
- From 1964 – 1966 in “Gilligan’s Island” and “I Dream of Genie”, the actresses were barred from showing their navels
- In 1979 in Saudi Arabia, any images, dolls, etc. of Miss Piggy from the “Muppet’s” were banned
It seems like the longer we are here the worse our televisions and movies get. What used to be too much for the television audience and even movies, is now common place. I always laugh (sarcastically) when I’m watching a show on TV and the censorship changed a word or beeped it out, but in the very next breath there is a cuss word that is considered acceptable and is left in. Is it too much to ask that we shelter our kids a little more? Keep them innocent a little longer?
I’m not saying that your wrong if you let your kids watch something that I wouldn’t let mine. I firmly believe that each child, each parent, each relationship with God, each household is different and needs to make those decisions on their own. What I am saying, though, is that we need to think really hard before allowing our kids to be exposed to something that can invade their minds and thereby their hearts. I love when I go over to my parents house and I walk in to see my 15 year old brother watching shows like “The Walton’s” and the History Channel instead of so many other things he could be watching.
I encourage you to take a minute to think about what you and your children are watching this week and see if you can move your censorship levels up some.