TV shows come and go, but some are cancelled because there is such a negative public outcry. These shows were pulled off of the air after networks had no choice but to succumb to pressure from non-viewers and advertisers.
Mona Scott-Young was the mastermind behind the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise so when she announced that she was creating another reality show, a lot of people were giving her the side eye. Before “Sorority Sisters” even aired, people were calling for its cancellation complaining that the show put sororities in a negative light. Undaunted by the controversy, Scott-Young and VH1 went ahead and aired the show anyway. But the calls for a boycott grew louder and a protest was held outside of VH1’s offices in Manhattan. Finally bucking to pressure, the network announced that it’s going to air the last three episodes in one night. Although it isn’t officially cancelled, VH1 has no plans of renewing the show.
“All My Baby Mamas”
Rapper Shawty Lo had one hit back in 2007 and it made him a local celebrity in Atlanta. He was very popular with the ladies and has ten baby mamas to show for it. The “Dey Know” rapper, his 11 children, young girlfriend and all his baby mamas were set to give the world an inside peek at their crazy and dysfunctional lives with “All My Baby Mamas.” But a lot of folks were upset and the NAACP accused the show of perpetuating negative stereotypes about the Black community. Oxygen pulled the show before it had a chance to air but an extended trailer lives on YouTube.
It’s never a good sign when Christian and conservative groups are mad at a show so “GCB” was doomed from the beginning. The show was based off of a book entitled “Good Christian B*tches” and although the executives of the show renamed it “Good Christians Belles,” feathers were ruffled anyway. The American Family Association filed a petition against the show alleging that ABC was mocking people of faith. Star Chenoweth, a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian, insisted that she would never compromise her faith to do a show but that did little to ease feelings and the show’s only season had just 10 episodes.
“Basketball Wives Miami”
Ratchet reality television was in full effect on “Basketball Wives.” The show was very popular since the beginning and fans couldn’t get enough of the catfights. But when Evelyn Lozada jumped on the table barefoot to run after her former friend and fellow castmate Jennifer Williams, people had enough. They urged others to boycott the show and a petitioned circulated online calling for the show to be pulled off of the air. Although “Basketball Wives” returned for an abbreviated season, it was quietly cancelled after that.
“Paula’s Home Cooking”
Paula Deen had a multi-million dollar empire that came crumbling down when the Queen of butter admitted to using the “N-word” in a court deposition and it leaked to the media. Deen was caught up in a public relations nightmare made worse with an apology video and an interview on the “Today” show that included the punch line to an old racist joke. Many called for Deen’s head on a silver platter. The Food Network decided not to renew Deen’s contract and her shows including “Paula’s Home Cooking” was cancelled. After taking a break from the public eye, Deen returned last fall to rebuild her empire by launching her own digital network.
Bill Cosby has been America’s favorite television dad ever since “The Cosby Show” aired. But his image took a huge hit recently when more than 30 women have come forward to accuse the legendary comedian of drugging and raping them. Through his lawyer, Cosby has denied the allegations but several networks are distancing themselves from him anyway. In November, Netflix decided to postpone a new comedy special “Bill Cosby 77.” NBC followed suit and cancelled the upcoming untitled sitcom that would’ve marked the Cosby’s return to the network since his groundbreaking show.
“BAPS” followed a group of young Black elites living in St. Louis but the group was anything but refined. In one episode one cast member spit on another and it set off a social media backlash claiming that the show promoted violence against women. There was an outcry to boycott the show. Originally Lifetime had six episodes scheduled for the show but the network cancelled “BAPS” after just four because of the negative criticism and poor ratings.
“The Good Life”
When you’re facing sexual assault or rape charges, it’s probably not best to voice your opinion about it on twitter. That’s what CeeLo Green did after he was accused of drugging and raping a woman. The “Forget You” singer pleaded no contest to a felony charge of plying the victim ecstasy and a few days later, he tweeted, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER.” It caused an outrage and TBS pulled his show “The Good Life” before it even aired.
Before there was “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, there was “Politically Incorrect” on ABC. Known for his controversial statements, the comedian spoke his mind regardless of the repercussions back then too and it cost him his job. Maher’s show was pulled off of network TV after a groundswell grew when he disagreed with President Bush who had called the 9/11 terrorists cowards. Maher said the U.S. was the real coward lobbing cruise missiles from 2000 miles away. Needless to say, with the tensions running high because of the recent 9/11 attacks, the show was pulled off the air in June of 2002.
7th Heaven enjoyed 11 seasons on the air and was a launching pad for career. Although its original run was over, the show was still popular and reruns aired on UP. However, the network yanked the show soon after an audio recording was leaked to the media with a man sounding a lot like Steven Collins admitting to inappropriately touching a minor decades earlier. Quick to distance itself from Collins, the network pulled the show last October. It was briefly brought back in December but pulled yet again. “We brought the show back because many viewers expressed they could separate allegations against one actor from the fictional series itself,” said UP CEO Charley Humbard. As it turns out, they cannot.”
Twins David and Jason Benham were gearing up to star in “Flip It Forward,” a home improvement show that turned a fixer-upper into a dream home for a different deserving family each episode. The show was set to air on HGTV but the network cancelled the pilot following backlash from fans that were upset over the twins’ history of preaching against homosexuality, abortion and divorce. The devout Christian brothers have a history of supporting their church’s views against gay rights and reproductive choice. In 2012, they rallied in Charlotte, N.C. to support a constitutional amendment within the state to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“Alice of Arabia”
ABC Family’s “Alice of Arabia” was cancelled just one week after the project got the green light. The show was supposed to be about a rebellious American teenage girl kidnapped by her Saudi Arabian family. The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the show for its racial undertones. ABC threw in the towel almost immediately and released a statement regarding their decision to cancel the project. “The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned, and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project,” it read.
“Untitled Michael Sam Project”
Michael Sam was set to make history by becoming the first openly gay player in the NFL. Oprah Winfrey wanted to chronicle Sam’s journey in a documentary series for her network but there was a lot of backlash from the NFL, players and fans. Many felt cameras at the St. Louis Rams training camp would be a distraction to Sam’s teammates and it would alienate him from the team. The network released a statement explaining their decision to pull the project. “OWN is about elevating and empowering people to achieve their best,” it read. “It’s clear that we, along with the world, recognize the important opportunity that Michael now has in this moment. We will continue to support him in his journey to earn a spot playing for the Rams.”