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The U.S. is home of some of the world's most stringent free speech protections thanks to The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; as such, the government basically can't ban anything on the basis of its content.note  Nevertheless, the U.S. is still home to many "banned" works because of the influence of Moral Guardians on distributors and the Federal Communications Commission. A select few works are banned from commercial distribution because they contain multiple copyright violations.


This means that in spite of these protections, it is entirely possible for stores, theatres, and libraries to all refuse to sell or distribute a given work; a copyright holder might just choose not to bother and not release the work. And the FCC technically "owns" the radio and TV airwaves and has a big say in what can be displayed on those channels. Its criteria for doing so are not made public, and it decides these things on a quasi-judicial basis — i.e. it has precedents and relies on those to make decisions. This setup means that the only way to know what the FCC doesn't like is to break its rules. Most networks will self-censor to avoid bans, viewer complaints, and possible FCC fines.

Historically, there were even more avenues to ban or restrict content, such as The Hays Code and The Comics Code. These were self-censorship bodies, though, and as more and more works started to push the limits of what was acceptable, such bodies have gone by the wayside.



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  • Due to the differences in crash standards used by the United States' NHTSA and those used in the rest of the world (such as NCAP), certain car models importing to the States need to have different modifications to meet the standards and vice versa. Thus, cars not meeting NHTSA requirements are mostly barred from sales, or being limited to private importations under a separate Show and Display law. Certain vehicle categories such as Japan's kei-cars were completely banned after a fiasco surrounding Subaru 360 early in The '60s.

    Comic Books 
  • Downplayed example with The Second Coming, a religious satire about Jesus Christ coming back in a superhero universe. Vertigo Comics cancelled it at the last minute due to protests by censorious Christian groups, but the creators announced that Vertigo had returned the rights and they still intended to publish it through a different company. It eventually came out from Ahoy Comics.

  • Porn actress Traci Lords infamously lied about her age, leading to the discovery that she was under 18 when she was in several pornographic works, all of which are illegal (and prohibited by our policies from having pages so don't try to wick any of them) for being child pornography. This led to two interesting side effects: first, being kinda related to an important Supreme Court case regarding the First Amendment, and second, for one of those works being an issue of Penthouse magazine which was already infamous for a nude pictorial which got Miss America winner Vanessa L. Williams stripped of her title.
  • Titicut Follies, a 1967 documentary about a mental ward, was banned from public release for several decades. Officially, the state of Massachusetts thought the film infringed on the privacy of the patients in the film; the real problem, though, was that it showed how the state of Massachusetts treated the mentally ill in its care (suffice it to say, not well). It remains one of the most embarrassing moments for free speech in the US, but weirdly, the ban had a positive effect; the state of Massachusetts was forced to acknowledge people had a right to privacy on the state level. The ban was lifted in 1991 by the state due to the supposed privacy concerns becoming less important as many of the inmates featured in the film passed away in the intervening years, though it ordered that a disclaimer explaining that conditions had improved at the mental ward since 1967 be added.
  • The Tin Drum was banned for a short time in Oklahoma County due to being considered obscene. Naturally, this only increased interest in the film until the ban was lifted via an injunction.
  • A broad obscenity sting in Orange County, Florida, managed to claim Pink Flamingos, among other films.
  • A lot of pre-Hays Code films were banned by the Catholic Legion of Decency and the Motion Picture Association of America between 1934 and 1968, including the first film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon. They were unbanned only after the ratings system supported by then-MPAA leader Jack Valenti came into place, though it would be years before they ever got released Stateside again, mainly due to practicality issues.
  • The 1936 version of Show Boat was banned for many years after star Paul Robeson landed on Red Channels and was issued a travel ban.
  • Friday the 13th caused a furor which led to the MPAA being much more aggressive with its X rating. This was tantamount to a ban, as not many theaters wanted to show them, and not many stores wanted to carry them. The X rating was also stigmatized as being only for porn films. (This furor, by the way, is the only conceivable reason why Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, which has minor nudity and just a few short scenes of violence and/or genuine menace, was rated R in 1984, after it had carried a PG rating for 15 years; today, the film would probably be rated PG-13 if resubmitted.) The NC-17 rating was introduced in response, but it didn't do much to slow the alleged "chilling effect" on such movies.
  • Under Idaho state law, establishments licensed to serve alcohol are prohibited from exhibiting "acts or simulated acts of sexual intercourse" or "any person being touched, caressed or fondled" in their nether region. This law is ostensibly meant to prohibit alcohol at strip clubs, but authorities have threatened that they would enforce this law against cinemas serving alcohol if they receive complaints surrounding films containing such content, and that even some R-rated films would fall under this restriction. In January 2016, a theater was threatened with revocation of its liquor license for daring to let undercover investigators drink before watching Fifty Shades of Grey, so it decided to challenge the law under the First Amendment. Among other things, they pointed out that despite the existence of other R-rated films that contain sex scenes, the only other film they seemed to be cracking down on was The Wolf of Wall Street. This, combined with cinema chains refusing to screen NC-17 films at all, prevented Blue Is the Warmest Color from being screened almost anywhere in Boise, Idaho.
  • Utah had a very similar law, among its many bizarre alcohol-related laws (such as one requiring alcoholic beverages at restaurants to be prepared out of sight, and only given to patrons with an "intent to dine"). It's no surprise, given the high degree of influence that the LDS Church (which prohibits alcohol consumption by its members) has in the state. A cinema that received similar threats to the Idaho theater after screening Deadpool also decided to fight the law, and won, having it struck down as unconstitutional. The film's star Ryan Reynolds was a major backer of their crowdfunded legal action.
  • Until the early 1960s, many films in which white and black Americans shared screen time, or in which one black actor was seen, were subject to censorship in the American South. They were usually shown uncut in the rest of the country. Examples are:
    • The scene in The Little Colonel (1935) where Shirley Temple dances on the stairs with her black butler, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, was cut.
    • Lena Horne's singing "Stormy Weather" (1943) was cut during screenings in the South.
    • Glenn Miller's two movies, Sun Valley Serenade (1941) and Orchestra Wives (1942), both featured a song and dance routine by the Nicholas Brothers (with Dorothy Dandridge joining them in the former). Their performances were set up so they could be easily cut out of the films without affecting continuity.
  • If You Love This Planet (1982), a National Film Board of Canada documentary short film about a lecture given at SUNY Plattsburgh by Australian anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott. Essentially An Inconvenient Truth but about nukes, the film was formally declared to be "foreign political propaganda" by the Reagan administration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The US government attempted to suppress distribution of the film and required all venues showing the film to file paperwork with the Department of Justice. All the notoriety actually helped to make the film more popular. It went on to win the 1982 Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject), and the director thanked the US government for the free advertising in her acceptance speech.
  • From 2001 to 2004, ABC was known for broadcasting Saving Private Ryan nearly uncut on Veteran's Day with a TV-MA rating. However, in 2004, in the wake of the Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction and the FCC's shifting stance towards indecent content on broadcast TV, 65 individual ABC affiliates refused to air the film out of fear that the FCC could fine them over its content. Although ABC offered to cover any fines issued to affiliates on their behalf, the FCC ultimately received no complaints at all. The Moral Guardians even praised ABC's decision to continue airing Saving Private Ryan, because after all, it is a patriotic film. That said, ABC has never aired the film since and future airings have been relegated to cable where standards are more lenient compared to broadcast TV.
  • Due to its longtime No Export for You status, a persistent rumor claimed that the film adaptation of Battle Royale had been banned in the US due to the Columbine massacre. While there never was an official ban in place (as noted above, America doesn't have a Censorship Bureau capable of banning films), with the original novel and the manga adaptation both being translated and published stateside, squeamishness over the film's subject matter did cause many American distributors to back off from it out of fear of a backlash. Reportedly, when Toei screened the film in 2005 for the lawyers of a prospective American distributor, they were warned that they'd go to prison for releasing it, and so they created a series of ridiculous conditionsnote  in order to dissuade potential distributors and avoid any headaches from American Moral Guardians (the film having already been controversial enough in its native Japan, with its lack of school shootings). An American remake of the film was briefly discussed, but fell into Development Hell after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. It wouldn't be until 2012, when the success of The Hunger Games demonstrated that one would be able to sell a story about teenagers murdering each other following the aftermath of Columbine, that Anchor Bay Entertainment got Toei to soften its stance and gave the film an American release.
  • missing. and the book on which it was based went missing in the United States for a couple of decades due to a libel lawsuit over the way the State Department was portrayed.
  • In The Adventures of Mark Twain, the segment based on The Mysterious Stranger has garnered this reputation, going viral on YouTube as a cartoon purportedly banned from TV. As it turns out, a lot of the networks that aired the movie simply chose to cut that scene out because they understandably considered it too creepy for young audiences (similar to what some networks did with the infamous tunnel scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory).
  • Ingagi had its distribution suppressed by the Federal Trade Commission over the misrepresentation of its subject matter. Its infamy was so great, in fact, that it didn't see a home video release until 2021.
  • In 2011, Bob Iger said that Song of the South would not recieve future distribution in the United States to avoid controversy. In March 2020, this was revealed to be an outright ban, as Iger told people at a sharesholders event that the film would never get a release on Disney+, not even with an added disclaimer at the beginning.
  • The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland has this reputation due to American Greetings allegedly refusing to allow a Region 1 DVD release over how badly it and the previous film were received. Not helping its case is that even Nelvana co-founder Michael Hirsh admitted after its release, "It was just one sequel too many."
  • On account of its sympathetic depiction of the CCCP (for context, the film was made during World War II, when relations between the US and USSR were much warmer), United Artists refused to release Mission to Moscow for television broadcast until the 1970s.

  • A law dating back to the 1930s bans the sale of any foodstuff that contains a "non-nutritive object" embedded within. This means that Kinder Surprise, and any product like it, cannot be sold or imported into the U.S. In 2017, Ferraro did announce that it would launch Kinder Joy in the U.S. in 2018. Kinder Joy is a spin-off product consisting of an egg split into two halves, one with a milk and cocoa filling with wafer balls, and the other containing a toy. While Kinder Joy was first conceived as an alternative to Kinder Surprise in warmer climates, it happens to be in compliance with said law. However, the original Kinder Surprise remains officially banned.
  • For a time, the live-culture dairy product kefir was unavailable in the U.S. due to import bans on the "grains" by which milk is converted into this beverage. This wasn't because the "grains" - actually lumps of microorganisms, living in clusters - were harmful, but because not all the microbes comprising them had been identified by science as yet, and importing unknown bacterial and fungal strains into the United States was prohibited.
  • Blackcurrants were banned federally from 1911 to 1966 and still banned at the state level in most areas for a few decades more; as of 2020, they are still illegal in four states. This was because the plant can host the white pine blister rust and transmit it to white pines, making them a major threat to the timber industry; the federal ban was lifted when science figured out that blister rust transmission only happens when both plants are in close proximity in moist conditions. The ban had the effect of making blackcurrant an obscure fruit in the United States, in contrast to its popularity in the United Kingdom and Europe.

  • Quite a large quantity of literature was banned in the city of Boston between the mid-1800s and the mid-1900s. Naked Lunch was the last major work to get its ban removed.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Daniel Handler was hoping for some of this, and was disappointed in how little it happened. His one real "victory" was that the books were banned from a school in Georgia due to Olaf's plan to marry his distant relative Violet in book one, to which he responded "I'm at a loss as to how to write a villain who doesn't do villainous things."
  • The famous novel Ulysses was banned from 1921 to 1933 since one of its chapters contained a passage about a character masturbating. Like the rest of the book, the passage was written as a stream of consciousness and thus rather oblique; nevertheless, people thought it was the product of a diseased mind. In 1933, the Supreme Courtnote  ruled that sexual content in literature is fine as long as it doesn't promote sexual activity. However, Judge John M. Woolsey's opinion regarding the absurdity of censorship (which not many people agreed with at the time) is very well-known and can be read here.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used In-Universe in M*A*S*H: The protagonists are trying to get their hands on The Moon is Blue, a film so racy that it was banned in Boston. The movie itself was disappointing; the Moral Guardians had overreacted, and the most inappropriate part of the film was a character saying the word "virgin".note  Of course, they had been warned by the Boston native Major Winchester, who pointed out that Boston would ban Pinocchio.
  • Utah's NBC affiliate, KSL-TV, is owned by Bonneville International, a company controlled by the LDS Church. As such, the station has a history of being run by Moral Guardians who pull or pre-empt programs that offend their sensibilities (in most cases, the pre-empted shows were picked up by the local The CW affiliate). Coincidentally, most of the programs KSL has censored wound up being short-runners, but there are exceptions:
    • Picket Fences (when the station was a CBS affiliate): In 1993, the series was pulled after an episode involving a Mormon who still believed in polygamy, despite the mainline LDS church disavowing the concept in 1890. Polygamy is still a very controversial issue in the Mormon faith. It returned that fall, but was pre-empted to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday nights.
    • Coupling: KSL objected to its sexual content. It was ultimately cancelled after four episodes due to poor reception.
    • NBC's late-night poker programming: The LDS Church is opposed to gambling; as such, there have never been any form of state-sanctioned gambling in Utah (including either lotteries or casinos). These programs were cancelled following the U.S. government's indictment and shutdown of the online poker sites which sponsored them.
    • The Playboy Club: KSL did not want to associate itself with Playboy because they participate in an education campaign against porn addiction. It only lasted three episodes due to poor reviews and viewership.
    • The New Normal: It featured two men in a relationship trying to care for a surrogate child; the LDS Church doesn't like homosexuality. That said, there was some outcry over KSL's refusal to air it, with many accusing them of homophobia and signing a petition to get them to air it. It didn't last that long anyway.
    • Hannibal: Pulled after four episodes, "due to the extensive graphic nature of this show." Executive producer Scott D. Pierce didn't like this, and he went as far as to compare KSL to Soviet propaganda newspaper Pravda''. This one lasted for three seasons before getting the boot, the longest of any KSL-censored primetime series.
    • Days of Our Lives: Punted to the middle of the night in 2011; scuttlebutt is that they objected to the show featuring a gay relationship involving the characters of Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis, who previously became the first gay couple in daytime television to wed onscreen. Why KSL elected to put in on 1:05am, rather than punt it to their usual dumping ground for shows deemed objectionable by LDS beliefs is unknown.
    • KSL also did not air Saturday Night Live when it switched to NBC, but only because it did not want to pre-empt its popular Saturday night sportscast. SNL began airing on KSL in 2013 after said sportscast was cancelled.
  • Two other stations known for censorship of network programming are WRAL, an NBC affiliate which covers the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina, and sister Fox station WRAZ. They're more or less run by Moral Guardians who are very hostile toward programming they consider to be "anti-family" (which is more or less a side-effect of WRAZ's construction permit having been originally owned by Reverend James Layton, a Christian minster); when affiliated with CBS, they pre-empted one of the Victoria's Secret fashion show specials, and under NBC, they censored the November 12, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Dave Chappelle.
  • On WRAZ, reality shows like Temptation Island, Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?, Married In America, Osbournes Reloaded, and Who's Your Daddy? were either heavily pre-empted or not aired at all. Most of these shows (aside from Temptation Island) got cancelled pretty quickly.
  • WNDU-TV, the NBC affiliate of South Bend, Indiana, was formerly owned by the University of Notre Dame. Much like KSL, they also pulled shows that offended their religious values, including the aforementioned Coupling and God, the Devil and Bob. They've since been sold to a more conventional owner in Gray Television, which has not engaged in such practices.
  • WSET in Virginia pulled an episode of Once and Again that contained a lesbian kiss, replacing it with an infomercial. The station provided no official explanation, but a few critics did react to the decision. Similar to KSL's curse, Once and Again was cancelled literally a month after the lesbian kiss episode aired.
  • In-Universe example from 30 Rock: "Liz, do you know how hard it was growing up gay in Methenburg, Pennsylvania? The local TV station edited Will & Grace down so much that it was just called Karen."
  • A Masterpiece Theatre serial, titled "Private Schulz", is banned for trying to make light of Nazi extermination camps. (On the other hand, the only other work to try that, Life Is Beautiful, is not banned at all.)
  • The CBS documentary film The Reagans, which was critical of Ronald Reagan, drew intense criticism from right-wing groups who called it a hit piece. CBS bowed to the pressure and decided not to air it; it did air on cable on sister station Showtime.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Plato's Stepchildren" in which the white Kirk kisses the black Uhura wasn't shown in several states, according to this article.
  • In April 2004, ABC affiliates owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group censored a Nightline episode in which Ted Koppel read the names of soldiers killed in the 2003 Iraq war, claiming that it was "motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq" (Sinclair is known for having a heavy Republican slant). Sinclair, however, did not censor the two later episodes of Nightline where Koppel did a reading of soldiers killed in Afghanistan (2004), and both Afghanistan and Iraq (2005)
  • "Living In Harmony", the particularly bizarre Cowboy Episode of The Prisoner (1967), was rejected for broadcast in the USA for reasons that remain unclear. Suggestions put forward include:
    • That it was just too much of a Bizarro Episode and executives found it incomprehensible.
    • That the episode's focus on pacifism was considered too controversial during the Vietnam War.
    • That the references to the Village's use of hallucinogenic drugs to help create Number Six's illusion of being in a Western setting were too explicit and in breach of Standards and Practices rules about depiction of drug use.
    • That the climax of the Western plot, in which Number Six's character kills the Kid in a gunfight, breached Standards and Practices rules about the depiction of shootings by having both characters in shot when the gun was fired - supposedly rules at the time stated that such killings could only be depicted by cutting from the killer firing the gun to the victim falling.
  • NBC's Connecticut station did not air the July 18, 2017 episode of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly because it featured an interview with Alex Jones, who has promoted claims that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged.
  • The Xena: Warrior Princess episode "The Way" was edited after its initial airing due to the threat of a boycott in India. The Moral Guardians turned out to be an American splinter group from the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. The splinter group objected to the depiction on-screen of the god Krishna, among other things, plus their perception of the two leads as lesbians (a matter kept deliberately ambiguous by the producers). The only significant change: a scene in which Xena attacks the monkey god Hamuman was shortened so that Hanuman immediately restrains Xena instead of passively accepting several blows from her first; this was actually an improvement. A disclaimer was added to the beginning, and a nod to India's history and culture at the end. The splinter group was given a free advertisement during the first rebroadcast; they used it in part to say that they were not mollified. The edited version is now the official version. Meanwhile, in India, where the series also aired, there were no objections to either version; the most popular series in India at the time was a live-action telling of the Ramayana.
  • Following a messy screwjob involving the hosting position for The Tonight Show, NBC withheld the entirety of Conan O'Brien's work for the network from distribution for nearly a decade.
  • Mississippi's PBS station banned Sesame Street for a month in 1970 due to its multi-racial cast.

  • The Kinks were banned from performing in America from 1965 to 1969 because their concerts got too rowdy. Many, including the Kinks themselves, believe this ban actually stemmed from a dispute the band was having with the American Federation of Musicians at that time.
  • Nick Bertke, better known as Pogo, is banned from performing in (or even entering) the United States until 2021, after it was discovered that he did not have a proper work visa during his September 2011 American tour.
  • The Grateful Dead were banned from performing in certain cities or at certain arenas, not because of the content of their music, but because venues simply couldn't handle the size of the band's travelling Deadhead fanbase. The Newbie Boom that stemmed from the success of their 1987 "Touch of Grey" single brought an unwanted, violent, party-animal element into their fanbase that also resulted in the band being asked to not play in some cities again. There was also an incident in the 1982, where the Dead were banned from playing at the Boston Garden because arena officials caught the band grilling lobsters on a fire escape before a show. That ban was lifted in 1991, and the band played there regularly until frontman Jerry Garcia's death in 1995.
  • Phish were banned from playing at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado in 1996, when a large group of unruly fans, who did not have tickets, decided to gatecrash one of their concerts there. This resulted in a violent confrontation with local police, which escalated into a small riot outside the show that the band and their paying fans were completely unaware of. Fans accused Denver police of ignoring the band's request to only allow people with tickets to take the dedicated highway exit to Red Rocks, and if they had followed the suggestion, the riot would have never happened. Adding to this was the fact that the nearby town of Morrison couldn't accommodate the band's large fanbase, which regularly traveled with them in a similar fashion to the Deadheads. The ban was lifted in 2009.
  • Rock music as a whole was banned from Red Rocks by the mayor of Denver in 1971 after a riot outside of a sold-out Jethro Tull concert. The ban was lifted in 1975, after it was ruled to be unlawful.
  • The German band Rammstein was banned from performing in the United States of America, mostly due to their performance antics (which got them arrested once as well). Though their BDSM-themed songs and political views definitely didn't help. They, and many of their fans, considered this a point of pride, even though the band is much more popular in America than they are in their native Germany. The ban was lifted in 2009. They briefly caught the limelight in the US with an MTV spot, then disappeared from popular consciousness again.
  • The city of San Francisco temporarily banned the Lorde song "Royals" in October 2014, due to the San Francisco Giants playing the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Kansas City, on the other hand, played the song every hour on the hour on the day of Game 1.


  • While stage censorship in New York City during the early 20th century was never so strict as The Hays Code, a law was passed banning plays about "sex degeneracy or sex perversion." Affected dramas included Mae West's The Drag and The Pleasure Man.
  • Many plays had to be censored for Boston productions in the same general period. A few were banned altogether, such as Strange Interlude, which therefore was performed in neighboring Quincy instead.

    Video Games 
  • The PS2 and Wii versions of Manhunt 2 was originally given an "Adults Only" rating by the ESRB, which greatly limited the number of retailers who would carry it. It was eventually censored enough for an M rating. The PC version was released uncut.
  • As of 2018, Valve stated that it would only outright reject games that were blatantly illegal or "trolling" from being sold on Steam. However, in 2019, it rejected a game over "costs and risks" associated with its controversial subject matter. In other words, Valve catches that if such game was allowed, Valve will have tremendously negative publicity. It doesn't help that the aforementioned game was made by a troll who wanted to test how far Steam allowed sensitive subject matter to go (as hentai and school shooting games had previously been released on Steam due to Valve's notoriously lax policy).
  • For various reasonsnote , Paseli — Konami's digital payment currency for its arcade games, isn't used outside of Japan, and can't be added to an e-Amusement account not registered as being in Japan. This causes issues with Round1's official imports of Konami's BEMANI games in the United States, as they have increasingly included paywalls (including subscriptions and specific types of "premium" credits, intended to create additional revenue to make up for changes in Japanese tax laws) for specific in-game features. Plus it is pretty much standard for Japanese arcades to use cash (usually via coin slots or contactless payments), while most North American arcades now tend to use tokens — either physical, or stored on a arcade-specific card not unlike Paseli. Dance Dance Revolution averts this since A and A20, as the North American build removes these paywalls, and makes the "Premium" mode accessible via coin mode. Round1 did initially set their machines to have Premium require two credits worth of tokens, but this was quickly changed.note 
  • Dance Rush in the U.S. gets a double whammy: it is divided into "Light", "Standard", and "Premium" credits — light only consists of two songs, standard allows an Extra Stage to be unlocked, and Premium allows users to play one song and record/edit a video of themselves playing it with the built-in camera and save it to their e-Amusement account for download. However, Standard is unavailable in the U.S. because of the aforementioned Paseli (even though the game supports multiple languages, it is still based on the Japanese build rather than the Asian builds, which allow Standard to be played via coin mode for two credits), and Premium is blocked in the U.S. due to concerns surrounding the internet uploads and a U.S. law regarding online privacy of children (the same reason a lot of services just make it a bannable offense to even jokingly admit that you're under 13).
  • The adult-oriented trivia game The Guy Game (which featured women on the street during Spring Break being forced to remove their tops if they answer questions incorrectly) was pulled after a 17 year-old woman in the game sued over the use of her likeness in promotion (plus, you know... she was underage). The remainder of the game's FMV footage was planned to be compiled into a DVD titled The Guy Game: Game Over, but either it was released in severely limited quantities or never came out at all.

    Western Animation 
  • A lot of Golden Age cartoons from Warner Bros., Disney, and MGM have been banned from airing due to racist depictions of minority groups due to Values Dissonance. Cartoons of the time were not shy about insensitive portrayals of marginalized groups (particularly black people, Mexicans, Jews, and Asians), and they could be incredibly sexist as well. Some of their Wartime Cartoons could be particularly nasty. Warner Bros. has a collection of cartoons called the Censored Eleven; they have been banned from airing on TV since 1968 mostly due to pervasive black stereotyping. However, most of them have received unofficial home video releases, particularly the ones whose copyright holders didn't bother renewing the copyright. You can also find them online, and some even have legitimate DVD releases.
  • PBS Kids examples:
    • The state PBS network in Alabama banned the Arthur episode "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone / The Feud" due to the first short focusing on Mr. Ratburn's marriage to another man.
    • Postcards from Buster had an episode called "Sugartime!" that featured a family with, in Buster's words, "a lot of moms!", focusing on the production of maple syrup in Vermont (one of the first U.S. states to legalize same-sex marriage, or "civil unions" as they were called back then). Besides a short segment focusing on the fact that the children had a mom and stepmom, the couple was not the focal point of the episode. Even then, PBS pulled the episode from the network schedule after the Secretary of Education threatened to pull the federal funding associated with it, since "many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in this episode". WGBH did distribute the episode to individual members who wanted to air it, while some also aired it in primetime, accompanied by discussion of the controversy in a Companion Show.
    • Seven episodes of Caillou have not been shown in the United States. They are:
      • "Big Brother Caillou": Banned because Caillou pinches Rosie. This is child's play compared to the book that the episode was based on, however, where Caillou gets even more violent and bites Rosie.
      • "Caillou Walks Around the Block": Banned because Caillou's mom leaves him unattended and Caillou wanders around the neighborhood by himself.note 
      • "Caillou is Getting Older": Banned because of the subject of death, fear of getting older, and a dead bird appearing on-screen, after just a couple of broadcasts on PBS early in its run.
      • "Caillou Makes a New Friend": Banned because of Jim's bullying being a bit too realistic.
      • "Caillou's Quarrel": Banned because Clementine was being bossy and Caillou was fighting with her.
      • "Rosie Bothers Caillou": For a while, this episode was banned because Caillou talks back to his mother, shoves Rosie out of his room, and Rosie hits a book against a door repeatedly.note  The ban would later be lifted when the episode showed up on the PBS DVD release Caillou's Kitchen in 2018 under the contrived title "Recipe for Fun."
      • "Caillou's Crossword": Banned because of the excessive use of the word "stupid", despite the usage of it being part of the episode's aesop.note 
  • The Legend of Calamity Jane, a "kid's show" that was rife with Family-Unfriendly Violence like guns, people being shot and hanged, and overt mentions of things like death, the Civil War, and slavery, was heavily hyped by The WB and then barely made it to three episodes before the Moral Guardians made quick work of it. However, north of the border, it aired in its entirety on Teletoon owing to Canadians being considerably laxer in censorship laws where kid's shows are concerned.
  • Parodied in Animaniacs (2020) in a Couch Gag line of the theme song for episode 8 with Yakko singing that the show is "Illegal in Bahrain-y", complete with a no symbol superimposed over a flying flag of Bahrain.


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