The sitcom, perhaps more than any other genre of show, tends to be a series that can go on for a long time. After all, a good series of this ilk only needs a good situation and some good comedy (hence the name), and from there, ideas can germinate, spread, and tick over for years. However, the longer it's on the air, the more chances a show like this has to slip up.
After all, sitcoms tend to be an examination of our daily lives, and as such, some push the wrong buttons, or cut too close to the bone. As tastes change and society evolves, some things that writers initially didn't think twice about have become inappropriate for modern sensibilities.
The following TV sitcoms have all been hit by the ban hammer at some stage, with censors and studios putting their foot down and drawing a line.
Some of these episodes were banned in certain parts of the world, and some returned to syndication over time. However, a few are the kind of thing no TV station will dare touch.
10. The Puerto Rican Day - Seinfeld
Often described as one of the best sitcoms ever, Seinfield was a sarcastic, sardonic, and oftentimes nihilistic show about nothing in particular. All that being said, it dared to poke fun and be outrageous in the way that real people were, in opposition to picturesque sitcom families.
The show has a handful of episodes that wouldn’t go over well today, but The Puerto Rican Day caused enough of a stink to be taken off TV for four years.
This 1998 story sees the cast of the show caught in city gridlock due to parades celebrating Puerto Rican Day. Near the episode’s close, Kramer accidentally sets fire to a Puerto Rican flag with a sparkler, and, in an attempt to stop the fire, throws it to the ground and stomps on it. This induces the ire of the people around him, and they chase him off the street.
The episode itself induced the ire of real Puerto Ricans, and complaints about the episode filtered in - including from Fernando Ferrer, the Puerto Rican borough president of the Bronx at the time. There were letters and even protests outside NBC’s Rockefeller home, and the station acquiesced to their demands by removing it from syndication.
The cast and crew took umbrage with this, but the episode stayed off air until 2002.