When we watch our favorite TV show, we don't often stop to think about whether or not the show has ever been censored or banned before it was deemed fit for our consumption.
However, many episodes of our favorite shows have undergone intense censor scrutiny, often without us even realizing it.
Check out these five TV shows which have been censored or even banned.
1. The Walking Dead - "Self Help"
Why was it censored? While this episode was definitely not the goriest episode we've seen on The Walking Dead, one of the bloodiest scenes of the season came at the beginning of the episode.
Occurring during the flashback, Abraham beat four men to death using his bare hands. And a can of beans. The scene was brutal, gory and almost too much for the censors' tastes, but fortunately it was eventually deemed fit for public consumption.
2. Star Trek - “Miri,” “Plato’s Stepchildren,” “The Empath” and “Whom Gods Destroy”
Why were they banned? These five episodes were banned from the U.K. airwaves for years. because, according to the BBC, they “deal most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease.” For example in "Miri," Kirk and company come upon a planet inhabited by the children who will succumb to a terrible degenerative disease when they hit puberty. You have to admit, it's all pretty nightmare inducing stuff.
3. Sesame Street
Why was it banned? The 1976 episode of the children's classic TV show was deemed too scary for children due to the inclusion of Margaret Hamilton a.k.a. The Wicked Witch of the West.
In the episode, the witch dropped her broom while flying over Sesame Street, then tries every magical method at her disposal to get it back. But while Oscar the Grouch is smitten, and even Big Bird grows fond of her, parents were less impressed and there was an outpouring of negative responses claiming that kids had been reduced to “screams and tears.” The episode was permanently shelved.
4. The X-Files - “Home”
Why was it banned? Though many X-Files episodes had strange and disturbing subject matter, this episode particularly piqued the interest of the censors.
Basically the reason it was banned can be summed up in this neat sentence: "quadruple amputee mother is caught breeding with her disfigured sons, thereby creating more disfigured children." The episode contained a scene of a live burial of a mutant baby, which director of the show, Kim Manners called “the most awful shot of my career,” and musician Johnny Mathis refused to let his song "Wonderful, Wonderful" be used, so a cover version had to be created.
The episode was banned from reruns after its initial screen (which 21% of households tuned into) but the fans fought the censorship and voted "Home" the best episode in a X-Files marathon on FX. The episode is commonly regarded as one of the best of the series.
5. Hannibal - "Œuf"
Why was it banned? In the episode a bunch of kidnapped children are brainwashed into murdering their own families. This episode was due to air on March 23, 2013 except it was pulled out of respect for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and the Sandy Hook Elementary students who had died in the December 2012 shooting. Showrunner Bryan Fuller instead censored himself and turned the episode into five webisodes instead.
Do you think censors should be able to ban or censor TV?