Top 10 Times Shows Changed Due to Fan Hate



Top 10 Times Shows Changed Due to Fan Hate

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Martin Roseville
In an era of the internet, we can think of many TV shows that got changed due to backlash.
Don’t like it? Well, there’s a backlash for that! Welcome to Watchmojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 TV shows that got changed due to backlash.

For this list, we’re taking a look at TV shows that got altered due to some issue with the content or with the actors themselves.

#10: "Stranger Things" (2016-)

There's a lot to love in this critically-acclaimed series about kids dealing with supernatural events in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. However, for one tobacco control organization, there was a lot to pick on. Published in July 2019, Truth Initiative’s report found that the Netflix show had one of the highest counts of tobacco use in their first season, only to increase by 44% in the second season. The complaint caused Netflix to pledge that any new shows rated TV-14 and below, and movies rated PG-13 and below, would no longer contain any smoking or e-cigarette use unless deemed necessary for "historical or factual accuracy."

#9: "Game of Thrones" (2011-19)

This HBO smash hit caused quite a stir with its graphic portrayals of sex and violence. But when certain scenes mixed sex and violence together, many critics and viewers felt that the show had crossed a line. A scene in the fourth season in which Jaimie forces himself on his sister and lover Cersei generated its fair share of controversy. But it was Ramsay’s assault of Sansa Stark in season five that really tipped the balance. The public outrage led to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to promise to reduce the violence toward women in future episodes.

#8: "Clone High" (2002-03)

This animated MTV sitcom for adults often hit the funny bone for fans, particularly for its depictions of famous historical figures as teens trying to get by in highschool. That is, until the show decided to feature revered lawyer and activist Mahatma Gandhi in a less-than-flattering portrayal. Many Indians were so appalled that a hunger strike was staged in New Delhi, which prompted an immediate apology from MTV and the promise of a second season without the offensive character. The show never recovered from the controversy and was eventually canceled.

#7: "Girls" (2012-17)

Few shows on HBO have garnered as much acclaim and as much derision as this comedy-drama based on the lives and relationships of four girls living in New York City. Although many had a field day criticizing everything from creator and actress Lena Dunham’s regular nudity on the show to its portrayal of sexual assault, it’s “Girls’” lack of racial diversity that finally grabbed Dunham’s attention. She attempted to address the issue by casting Donald Glover as her character’s boyfriend for two episodes in Season 2. However, some also criticized the casting as a token gesture.

#6: "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj" (2018-)

This item on our list is pretty unique, as it sparked more backlash when the show was changed than the original backlash that prompted the change. It all started when comedian Minhaj filmed an episode of his show in which he criticized Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen, its human rights violations, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Middle Eastern country retaliated, citing that the episode violated its cybercrime law - which caused Netflix to pull the episode from its service in Saudi Arabia. This led to international outrage against Netflix, with many viewing it as a cowardly move.

#5: "Urban Myths" (2017-)

This lighthearted take on stories surrounding famous pop culture figures was a hit when released, praised for its unique premise and charming storytelling. Things took a turn for the worse when it was announced that Joseph Fiennes would portray Michael Jackson in an upcoming episode, triggering a torrent of outrage from Jackson's family. After the release of the trailer for the episode in question, the public unleashed new waves of criticism, particularly for the casting of a white actor to play Jackson. After fans began a petition to boycott the episode, which received more than 20,000 signatures, an apology was quickly issued and the episode pulled from broadcast.

#4: "House of Cards" (2013-18)

In late 2017, Netflix’s political drama “House of Cards” was riding high. The show’s fifth season had added even more accolades to an already impressive collection, and production had begun on season six. With acclaimed actor Kevin Spacey in the lead role as ruthless politician Frank Underwood, what could go wrong? Well . . . a lot. In October, an allegation of sexual misconduct against Spacey froze production, and opened the floodgates to many more accusations. Spacey was fired and cut from the final season, with Robin Wright replacing him as lead; the season reduced to just eight episodes. Spacey’s response? The bizarre, unsettling in-character video “Let Me Be Frank”.

#3: "13 Reasons Why" (2017-)

Although the season one finale warned that the episode included "graphic depictions of violence and suicide,” many were still unprepared for the nearly three-minute-long portrayal of Hannah’s gut-wrenching suicide. The show has been criticized by mental health professionals as “glamorizing” self-harm and increasing the number of real life suicide attempts; and for many, this scene was the last straw. In response to public backlash and the advice of medical experts, Netflix added warning cards and advisory videos to the show, and in 2019 edited out the suicide scene from the finale.

#2: "Roseanne" (1988-1997; 2018)

When ABC announced that “Roseanne” was being revived for a 10th seasons, fans rejoiced. In the 80s and 90s, the charming sitcom won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, and catapulted actors like John Goodman and Roseanne Barr to stardom. Sure enough, the revival was a hit, and quickly renewed for an 11th season . . . that is, until Barr got on Twitter to liken Valerie Jarrett, an African-American Obama administration official, to the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes”. ABC quickly condemned the racist comments as "abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values” and canceled the entire show in May of 2018, instead releasing a spin-off called “The Conners” … without Roseanne.

#1: "The Simpsons" (1989-)

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has long been criticized for perpetuating racial stereotypes. However, it was the blistering 2017 documentary “The Problem with Apu” that finally made an impact. The documentary prompted calls for the character, an Indian-American voiced by actor Hank Azaria, to be axed from “The Simpsons”. While rumours circulated that Apu might soon disappear, creator Matt Groening announced in August of 2019 that Apu would remain on the show. However, writer Al Jean indicated that the character was a “work in progress”, suggesting that viewers could expect some changes to the enduring Kwik-E-Mart owner. Just what sort of changes that will entail has yet to be seen.