But even after appearing onscreen with the Beav, toilets remained blacklisted for the next two decades -- you couldn't even say the word "toilet" on TV, as though all denizens of Hollywood ran on cold fusion.
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"Where are we supposed to, you know?"
"I've been going in trash bags and leaving them in the hall for Alice."
The prohibition was so strict that, unlike the word "pregnant," you couldn't even make references to one using French euphemisms. In 1960, the censors cut a Jack Paar joke from The Tonight Show because he said "W.C." (short for "water closet"), even though Paar felt so strongly he quit over it. It may seem silly now, but at least history was spared the "we just remembered we all have butts" sex-war of 1960.
Lesbians Could Have Sex Long Before They Could Enjoy It
Buffy The Vampire Slayer was, objectively, an important show in American broadcast TV history. Not only did it accomplish the impossible by making us like a character named "Xander," it was the first broadcast TV show to explicitly portray physical lesbian love.
Which is a necessity when your other options are dudes named "Xander."
We aren't talking about the famous musical episode, "Once More With Feeling," wherein Willow "goes down" out of frame, and we see her girlfriend Tara start to levitate while singing about magic, and "spreading" underneath "willow trees." That was merely suggested lesbian sex. True, it had all the subtlety of a flying drop kick, but it was technically only "suggested." And the American public had seen "suggested" lesbian love before then.
Definition of "subtle" right here.
The American public had also seen explicit lesbian sex before then. Almost 30 years before Buffy, a graphic lesbian rape scene on Born Innocent depicted a woman being violently raped by a (female) gang using a mop handle. Indeed, there were quite a few instances of lesbian characters suffering plenty of violence, which sensors didn't seem to have any problem with.
But it wasn't until the 2003 Buffy episode "Touched" that a broadcast show depicted lesbians actually enjoying sex. In it, Willow and her girlfriend, get into bed, kiss one another passionately, and altogether seem to enjoy an act that both of them consent to. Shocking! It seemed the real problem censors had with lesbian sex up to that point was that the lesbians might actually enjoy it.
"Kids, let me tell you how I met your mother."
As a British man, Chris has spent most of this article spitting out his tea after every rude word he's had to type. You can follow him on Twitter at @NotQuiteCool but only if you promise not to talk about rude things around him.
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