10 Characters From Famous TV Shows Who Were Swept Under The Carpet
9. Dr. Spearchucker Jones - M*A*S*H
Observant viewers may realize that there was an empty bed in the Swamp for most of M*A*S*H's run. This is because originally there was a fourth surgeon-in-residence, Spearchucker Jones, played by Timothy Brown. Spearchucker was the unit's sole African-American surgeon and, since the character appeared in both the book and film versions of M*A*S*H, the television producers saw no problem with bringing him over to the small-screen adaptation. For the first eleven episodes, Spearchucker was a regular presence at the 4077th, even getting some fairly respectable airtime in some of the early episodes. The problem? Someone pointed out to the producers that there were no African-American surgeons stationed in M*A*S*H units during the Korean War. Though the writers and producers were very willing to tackle issues of bigotry and did a number of episodes doing just that, they did not want to become so politically correct that they completely threw historical accuracy out the window. The unfortunate truth is that segregation was still in full force during the Korean War, and a doctor like Spearchucker would have faced numerous problems in operating on mostly white patients. Spearchucker was quietly dropped after the eleventh episode and never mentioned again.
Christopher A. Rothbauer is a freelance writer who specializes in nostalgic television and B-movies. His current project is the blog Saved by the Bell...Reviewed!, which reviews every episode of the Saved by the Bell franchise one week at a time. He lives in the southern Indiana suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky.