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Distanced from Current Events

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A kind of self-censorship born out of sensitivity to current issues. One frequent situation is when a new episode (or possibly an old one) is edited or not broadcast because it coincides with some recent tragic event. Can be taken to ridiculous extremes, especially if Executive Meddling is involved; for example, after President Reagan was shot, The Greatest American Hero had the name of its main character changed because his name was Hinkley, the same as the would-be assassin. Sometimes it goes so far that any fictional depiction of someone or something upon which tragedy has been visited cannot be shown at all for fear of "trivialization" - even if the depiction is respectful.


A prominent example for Americans was that, for several years, any show featuring the former twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City tended to be tweaked a bit. Some older shows and even movies had broadcasts digitally edited to remove it from the skyline. This sometimes happened even when the show or movie was set before 2001. This has Unfortunate Implications, in that it allows the terrorists to destroy the World Trade Center retroactively. Much of the awareness of the issue is due to the rather long shadow the World Trade Center attacks cast over the subsequent decade.

In other cases, the result ends up being a Missing Episode (if it's scheduled to air around the time of the tragedy, but has to be replaced with a rerun or another episode) or a Banned Episode (if it aired previously and now has to be shelved until the tragedy dies down, though, in some cases, like the South Park two-part episode "200" and "201," an episode will be considered gone for good if it really caused trouble).


Ironically, sometimes it is the very act of censoring a scene that highlights its similarities to current events. A seemingly innocuous scene has been edited out of a repeat; the only explanation is that it referred to the same kind of situation as in Current Issue X. What was a vague connection has now been made explicit.

Has elements in common with Harsher in Hindsight and "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. If a work had its airing or release delayed due to a tragic event, but the work's content wasn't related, that would be considered a Release Date Change.



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  • In 1994, the restaurant chain Jack in the Box released the first commercials with the "Jack" character. In the commercials, he referenced the 1980 commercials where they blew up the jack-in-the-box head that was their trademark, saying they had "fired" him. He then claimed that due to plastic surgery, he was back and would change Jack in the Box. Immediately after this announcement, the commercial showed Jack getting revenge by blowing up the building's boardroom behind him. The commercial drew criticism for appearing at a time when several real-life bombings were in the news.
    • The referenced "Jack Blows Up" commercial from 1980 declared that "The Food is Better At The Box!", which turned into this trope when Jack in the Box had an E. coli outbreak, perhaps the biggest outbreak of the bacteria ever. The outbreak came from the Monster Burger promotion which ran under the tagline, "So Good, It's Scary!"
  • A TV ad for the 1986 Ford Aerostar minivan, which compared the van's profile to that of the Space Shuttle, was pulled after the Challenger disaster.
  • 20th Century Fox pulled ads for the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn comedy Neighborhood Watch in Florida soon after the controversial Trayvon Martin incident. The film itself was later retitled The Watch.
  • Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, did a Weight Watchers commercial in which she said she got most of her exercise running from the paparazzi. It was released the same week as the death of Princess Diana of Wales and was immediately pulled.
  • Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, a popular weight-loss-by-meal-replacement programme in Great Britain was frequently advertised on the TV as AYDS Helps You Lose a Lot of Weight - Fast! Following a certain new disease which came to the public eye in the 1980s, however, AYDS, its advertising and the product itself vanished completely.
  • A commercial for Vigilante 8 featuring a heavily damaged school bus was supposedly pulled after the Columbine massacre.
  • When WE tv began airing McLeod's Daughters, they ran a humorous promo where a mother Bound and Gagged her family with duct tape so they wouldn't interrupt her while she was watching the show. The ad was pulled in response to a news story about a child who had died after having their mouth taped.
  • Walmart pulled a commercial featuring a Black father saying "I can't breathe!" after the grand jury failed to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man. In particular, the issue was that "I can't breathe" were the last words Garner said while dying on-camera, and subsequently became the rallying cry of those seeking to end race-based police brutality. (It is still available on t-shirts, jackets, hats, etc., and his daughter famously wore one in a promo for the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign.)
  • HP and Hardee's ads were pulled in light of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
    • The HP was harsher than the others because it bragged about bringing astronauts to safety.
  • The Energizer "Bombshell Bunny" commercial only aired a few times before being pulled after the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • In 2017, the automaker Dodge sponsored a drag racing event in Michigan called Roadkill Nights, with their new Challenger SRT Demon muscle car featured there. The event was held on August 12... which was, unfortunately, also the day when a neo-Nazi at a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia drove a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring nineteen others. Dodge very quickly removed the banner and tweets on its Twitter page promoting Roadkill Nights (the former complete with a picture of the Demon), though not before they got hit with no shortage of jokes and remarks about the unfortunate timing.
  • Kraft Heinz suspended Planters' Super Bowl LIV ad campaign, which centered around the Heroic Sacrifice of their longtime mascot Mr. Peanut, in the wake of Kobe Bryant's tragic death. Both the incident and the first ad in question involved vehicles crashing, with the Planters ad involving a car crash and Kobe dying in a helicopter crash, and the campaign would've continued in the week of Kobe's death with new material leading up to Mr. Peanut's funeral, which was to air during the game itself. Despite the cancellation, the ad slated for the game, which ended with Mr. Peanut being reborn as Baby Nut, aired as scheduled.
  • In early March of 2020, Axe began running an ad called "Don't Overthink It", which featured a young man at a basketball game imagining that his body odor would humiliate him, before deciding to spray Axe on himself. What caused this ad to be pulled was the Imagine Spot: His body odor causes everyone to flee the stands, and oxygen masks drop down on the coughing sportscasters. Even worse, two days after the ad began airing, the NBA suspended its season after Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, and fans were told to leave the arena when a Jazz game that night was subsequently cancelled.
  • KFC once ran an ad featuring their Tiananmen Square location until it was pulled in the wake of the 1989 massacre.

    Anime and Manga 
  • X/1999, which has been suspended at 18 out of a planned 21 volumes since 2003, has been forced to distance itself from current events repeatedly. The series is intentionally violent and disturbing, but uncomfortable resemblances to real-life tragedies have caused repeated suspensions in publication. In particular, beheadings depicted in the story became controversial after the gruesome Sakakibara Incident and the recurring theme of earthquakes as a sign of the end of the world after the Kobe Earthquake. The current publication hiatus does not seem to have a single trigger but may be due to the general post-9/11 climate towards terrorism (which is essentially what the antagonists are engaging in). CLAMP has stated in interviews that they did not believe that they would be able to get the planned ending published at the time and that they have not abandoned X. Fans have mixed opinions about the likelihood of the series restarting publication.
  • The second half of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu's first episode had Kaname getting abducted by a female gang leader, with Sosuke responding by kidnapping said leader's little brothernote ; it was cut from broadcast due to a high profile kidnapping case at around the same time.
  • Black Jack:
    • The third episode of the 2004 anime adaptation was left unaired, as it was to deal with an earthquake, and a real one had just struck Niigata Prefecture. This leaves a minor plothole because that episode is the one that introduces their pet dog.
    • The 28th episode of the same adaptation was delayed two months due to the Amagasaki derailment that occured a month prior because it was about shikansen bullet trains going too fast, causing problems at a hospital near the station they originated from. That episode would become the 34th in the series.
  • One episode of Higurashi: When They Cry and the final episode of School Days had to be delayed for a week in Japan because the contents of it were eerily similar to a murder case in Tokyo, where one girl killed her father with a cleaver which was identical to the kind that Rena has. This eventually led to Higurashi Kai and School Days being dropped from several channels' prime time line up and Higurashi's opening song being reworked to change the scene of Rena's cleaver to that of the junkyard where she goes to. In terms of School Days' changes, see this link.
  • The long-awaited Chinese Federation story arc of Code Geass R2 was delayed a week, presumably due to the earthquake that struck central China in early May 2008.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime, the tornadoes that Placido/Primo creates in his Duel against Yusei are completely absent from the dubbed version of one episode. This was done due to the tornado disasters in the midwest that occurred during this time period.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, the character of South Korea had to be pulled out of the webcast due to protests by Korean groups. This might also explain why Tibet, featured as a part of the East Asian group in one of the strips, was replaced by a panda when said strip was animated.
    • Also likely the reason there is no canon North Korea. The author also avoids mentioning the Holocaust if at all possible to keep up the series' lighthearted tone (and because Germany's one of the main characters). The English dub, on the other hand, isn't afraid to sneak in a few jabs about it.
  • The 1995 sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway remain a very bad subject to be insensitive about in Japan. Neon Genesis Evangelion, for instance, being in production at that time, was more or less re-planned on the fly to avoid being offensive in a manner that it was not intended to be offensive.
  • The release of Is This a Zombie? was pushed back a week for "violent content" due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the third Pretty Cure All Stars movie was edited in its initial theatrical release to remove a tsunami scene that was subsequently restored for its DVD release.note 
    • This trope was the reason why The Melody of Sorrow was completed in Suite Pretty Cure ♪. The creators wanted the kids to relate to the horrific events on that day by having their beloved heroines suffer through a similar event. However, the show still had a happy ending where the characters defeat Noise and the Melody of Happiness is sung. In addition, a scene in episode 6 of Suite had the glittering effect added to cake mix that Hibiki's brother, Souta, was trapped in to make it look less like a fluid.
    • Smile Pretty Cure! was made as a response to the earthquake disaster, with the series having a Lighter and Softer tone than most installments of the franchise.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica got postponed for over a month as a destroyed and flooded city featured prominently in its final episodes.
  • Coppelion, had both the original manga and its anime adaptation put on hold because its plot was initiated by a nuclear reactor exploding due to an earthquake destroying its cooling system and rendering Tokyo almost uninhabitable for more than 20 years.
  • Soul Eater episodes were being re-aired during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, so two climactic and destructive episodes were skipped in favor of the more lighthearted episodes that immediately succeeded them.
  • One manga case in Detective Conan involved a relatively large earthquake striking while the Detective Boys were playing in an abandoned building, which led to a kidnapping victim in the building waking up and trying to alert the kids to their situation. The anime adaptation of that case cut all mentions of earthquakes due to the then-recent 2011 earthquake, and instead had the kidnapping victim simply hear the kids in the building and try to get help.
  • Sports pedophilia incidents such as the Jerry Sandusky scandal have led fans of Basketball Light Novel Ro-Kyu-Bu! to accuse its production committee of this trope for banning the series from home video release outside of Japan.
  • Pokémon:
    • Battle of the Shaking Island! Barboach VS Whiscash!! has never aired anywhere: an episode about Barboach creating earthquakes was never shown on Japanese TV because of a strong earthquake a few days before it was set to air. Judging from the episode list on The Other Wiki it seems as though they're trying to forget the episode even existed. The anime also retired the moves of Earthquake, Fissure and Magnitude after the episode was pulled.
    • A similar occurrence happened later on when a two-parter concluding a story arc (Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma!) was pulled from the air and never broadcast anywhere due to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown disaster of 2011. Team Plasma was later introduced in a manner that is incompatible with the cancelled episodes, effectively writing them out of the narrative.
    • After Electric Soldier Porygon gave children seizures, TV Tokyo pulled any programming related to Pokémon from its' lineup and VHS rental chains pulled tapes of the anime off their shelves. Like the Earthquake move above, in the anime the eponymous Pokémon has never appeared in a major role since and its evolutions have only made extremely rare and brief appearances as stock artwork when the show's forced to show all the Pokémon existing at the time (Porygon2 was shown in the Johto Pokérap, and both Porygon2 and Porygon-Z were glimpsed in the intro of Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice, which featured stock art of all the Pokémon up to Meloetta).
    • The appearance of Jynx (a controversial Pokémon which had earlier caused a couple of episodes to get pulled due to being perceived as a blackface stereotype) in a three-episode Advanced Generation arc set to be broadcast in America during Black History Month in 2006 caused the entire arc to be pushed back to May of that same year. As the arc was a very important one, it couldn't be skipped, unlike Jynx's other appearances.
    • A DVD release of the first three movies took place in the United States in Spring 2009—just after Noriko Sakai was convicted of drug possession. Needless to say, the set, which included Pikachu and Pichu (which was taken out of circulation in Japan on Sakai's account), was soon pulled, and the international distributor ultimately lost the rights for good in part as a result of the set's failed release.
    • One episode in the XY series, "An Undersea Place to Call Home!", was held back due to the sinking of a ferry off the South Korean coast. The episode depicts a luxury liner that has been submerged for some time. It would finally be aired months later after an initial airing in Korea. The initial Japanese and US airings were skipped and replaced with Ash's gym battle with Grant; with the episode airing in Japan not long after South Korea and later aired in the English Dub in early 2015.
    • When the US TV network Kid's WB! did re-airings of Season 1 in 2001, the episode "Tentacool & Tentacruel" was taken out of the rotation. This was due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks because in that particular episode Tentacruel destroys several skyscrapers. Despite this, one shot of said Tentacruel smashing the skyscraper remained in the first season intro.
    • While the reason was not officially confirmed, many believed the episode "Tower of Terror" in 2001 was skipped because of the name and its association with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. The Orange Islands episode "A Scare In The Air" was also renamed to "Spirits In The Sky" around the same time for the same reason. Both "Tower of Terror" and "Tentacool & Tentacruel" re-entered rerun rotation and "Spirits In The Sky" got its' original title back in 2006 when the series' rights went to Cartoon Network.
    • After Harvey Weinstein sent a long line of dominoes falling with his sex scandal, the movies distributed by his Miramax Films were not aired as part of Disney XD's January 2018 Pokémon movie marathon. Twitch is also excluding the films from its Pokémon marathon that same fall.
    • Due to growing racial tensions in America, an episode where Lillie helps Ash disguise as a Passimiannote  was skipped in 2018—the first time in 16 years, it so happens, this happened to any episode. To put it in perspective, the last episode to go unaired outside of Japan fell foul of the same political correctness standards regarding blackface with a major appearance by Jynx.
  • After Auditiongate (it's a long story), all DVDs and Blu-ray discs of Kokoro Connect were delayed for a month in the aftermath. It's also the reason why a new opening theme was recorded for this initial home video release; one member of the band who wrote the original OP hinted at the scandal's existence via Twitter and thus unintentionally provoked the Internet into counterattacking the producers, so he decided to take a hiatus from the group as a direct result of the fallout.
  • On the day before the fourth episode of the new-edit Psycho-Pass anime was to be televised, a 16-year-old girl murdered her 15-year-old classmate in her apartment in Sasebo by dismembering and decapitating her. The episode's broadcasts were initially cancelled soon after, due to very similar violent content in said episode.note 
  • Similar to the Yu-Gi-Oh! example on the 9/11 page, the premiere of Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream was held back a week due to the March 11th disaster.
    • Five years later, the show's Spiritual Successor, PriPara, suffered from this trope in Korea, when episode 36 was supposed to play on the day of the Brussels attacks. After the incident happened, the episode was pulled from broadcast due to the episode's plot involving Laala trying to revive Falulu after she dies, and they skipped to episode 37. However, the episode did show up on a Korean online TV service.
  • Digital Manga Publishing dropped their release of the controversial Cure Your Gays manga The Beautiful Skies of Houou High mostly due to the rising amount of LGBT bullying and suicides around the time they released it.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Thriller Bark arc, Invisible Man Absalom stabs Sanji repeatedly with a knife as Sanji is protecting Nami, which bites him in the ass when he gives his location away by stepping into a pool of blood. However, when the anime reached that part, a massacre involving a knife had occurred in Japan, so the scene was altered to make Absalom relentlessly beat Sanji instead, and give his location away by stepping too close to him. The scene was restored to normal in the DVD versions when it wasn't an issue anymore.
    • The anime ran into this problem again later on during the Dressrosa arc. One of Kyros's first acts upon being restored to his human form was to decapitate Doflamingo, only for him to turn out to be Actually a Doombot. While the decapitation itself aired without incident, only a few days later ISIS executed two Japanese hostages in a similar manner (see below), so that in following episodes a swirl of yarn was hastily slapped atop the headless puppet, and frames showing the head on the ground were zoomed in and/or cropped to avoid showing the severed neck.
  • One of the reasons why Blue Comet SPT Layzner was cancelled was how the second part of the series had Earth conquered and oppressed by a tyrannical and virulently racist Empire... whose actions were very similar to how Imperial Japan had treated its colonies and ESPECIALLY the Korean Peninsula a few decades ago. Technically speaking Gundam had been doing it for years with Zeon, but the difference is that Gundam was at least a little more subtle about it whereas Layzner took the theme and dealt with it much more directly.
  • Thanks to ISIS taking and murdering Japanese hostages, the last weeks of January 2015 have been pretty bad weeks for violent anime, including Assassination Classroom. Even the comparatively light-hearted Tantei Opera Milky Holmes didn't escape the fallout.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Shark wields a card called "Poseidon Wave", which visually creates a tsunami to stop enemy attacks. Thanks to the 2011 tsunami, they were forced to change the card's name to "Zeus Breath" and change the tsunami to a wall of wind.
  • The "Martial Figure Skating" arc of Ranma ½, which included a girl who stole things and "kidnapped" people/animals out of Cuteness Proximity, was delayed because of several kidnappings which had taken place in Japan around the time the three episodes were set for broadcast. They would only be shown months later after the series had been Un-Cancelled and an episode depicting flashbacks to said episodes had been broadcast as part of the initial run.
  • Following the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the deaths of all onboard, Cartoon Network pulled the Cowboy Bebop episode Wild Horses, which heavily featured the Columbia.
  • Fire Force had the broadcast of Episode 3 halted after the arson attack at Kyoto Animation due to the series' premise about firefighting, and this specific episode being about an arsonist trying to burn down a building and kill the people inside. The episode aired the following week in an edited format, with changes such as changing the color of the flames and reducing the impact of the narration.
  • In 1998, a woman at a Wakayama summer festival put arsenic in a pot of curry being served there, killing two adults, a 10-year-old and a 16-year-old when they ate it and poisoining 63 others. This lead to scenes featuring characters eating curry being cut from episodes of Super Radical Gag Family and Takoyaki Mantoman that premiered at the same time.
  • When NHK re-broadcast Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water in 2004, episode 31 was skipped because it featured an earthquake scene, and it was slated to air around the time the Niigata earthquake had happened in Japan. Instead, the next episode was rerun, with opening narration for episode 31 edited into it.
  • Two different anime were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic:

    Comic Books 
  • For a brief period in The '70s, Black Panther was renamed "Black Leopard" in order to avoid being associated with the Black Panther revolutionary organization.
  • The Man of Steel, the 1986 updated retelling of Superman's origins, was going to have him make his first public appearance saving a space shuttle from crashing. The Challenger disaster occurred while the miniseries was in production, and the vessel Superman saves was changed to an "experimental space-plane".
  • The cover of Preacher #52 was originally supposed to depict an 8-year-old Tulip O'Hare getting a handgun as a Christmas present. After Columbine, it was changed to a standard facial shot of an adult Tulip.
  • One issue of the Vertigo Comics title Hellblazer, containing a story entitled Shoot (written by Warren Ellis) was never released due to its resemblance to the Columbine shootings - it would have come out only weeks after the shootings occurred. As with the above example, the issue had been in the works for several months, the timing was merely coincidental. The issue was eventually released as a standalone story in 2010.
  • Issue #3 of Batman Incorporated was pushed back a month due to the tragic shooting spree that occurred at a Colorado screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The issue, which saw a female Leviathan agent chloroforming and replacing a teacher and then pointing a gun at her students, was deemed insensitive in light of the shootings.
  • On her Tumblr blog, Gail Simone mentioned that she had to rewrite an issue of Batgirl (which featured a Latino youth being brutalized by bigoted security officers) due to some similarities it bore to the death of Trayvon Martin.
  • Trinity was originally scheduled to have a three-issue arc dealing with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman defending a racist hate speaker from angry rioters. The issues were cancelled by DC due to the increasingly volatile political situation in the United States following the election of Donald Trump, including at least one incident that bore superficial similarities to the riot in the story.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield:
    • In an extreme case of bad timing, a strip involving a spider telling Garfield that if Garfield kills the spider, a day of remembrance will be held in his honor, resulting in a day called "National Stupid Day". It ran on November 11, 2010, Remembrance/Veterans Day.
    • Speaking of Jim Davis comics and bad timing, on September 6, 2012, a devastating earthquake struck China. The U.S. Acres webcomic of the day when it occurred, which was part of an arc about sneezing jokes, had Orson recieving a phone call from China in it. Luckily, unlike the "National Stupid Day" Garfield comic, nobody noticed this because the comic changed 30 minutes after said earthquake happened because the earthquake happened at 11:30PMEST, 30 minutes before both the Garfield and U.S. Acres comics changed.
  • In FoxTrot, the strip published July 22, 2012, was supposed to be showing Paige in the crosshairs of Jason's squirt gun, but as it was just days after the Aurora, CO movie theatre massacre, Bill Amend pulled the strip and replaced it with a rerun of a 2009 strip.


  • Following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, FX scrapped a planned airing of Armageddon because the opening depicted a space shuttle being destroyed.
  • Dr. Strangelove
    • The release of the movie was delayed several weeks due to the Kennedy assassination.
    • One of Slim Pickens' lines was also re-dubbed: "Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."
    • It originally ended with a pie fight in the War Room, and at one point the President is hit, prompting the line "Our gallant President has been struck down in his prime!".
  • Similarly, the censors nixed a gag in Animal House (released in 1978) that would have had a sculpture of JFK on a parade float being shot in the "head" during the chaos when the Deltas attack the parade in their "Eat Me" float. (In the finished film, it is Jackie Kennedy who is disrespected, when Babs Jansen, who is portraying Jackie, has her pink suit ripped off and ends up in her underwear.) Ironically, in-universe the gag would have been a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, since the parade takes place in the autumn of 1962 - more than a year before the assassination.
  • A showing of Die Hard 2 was delayed in the UK and instead replaced with the showing of the Sylvester Stallone movie Cliffhanger. The reason for this was because there had been a recent incident at Glasgow Airport involving a flaming car crashing into the building, and with the movie being set in an airport they probably thought showing it would be in bad taste.
  • The release of Fly Away Home, about a thirteen-year-old girl leading a flock of Canada geese to their nesting site by flying a hang-glider, was delayed for several months following the death of seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff in an attempt to become the youngest person to fly across the United States.
  • The release of SpaceCamp, originally scheduled for early 1986, was pushed back several months following the Challenger disaster.
  • The release of Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone was delayed in the UK because there were parallels to the recent disappearance of Madeline McCann.
  • ITV pulled an airing of The Railway Children (their adaptation) three days after the Ufton Nervet rail crash in 2004.
  • Hours before Brüno's red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson died, so Universal cut a scene that joked about him, a trim that was confirmed for the general release as well.
  • NBC's made-for-TV movie Atomic Train was preempted by Denver affiliate KUSA out of sympathy for the Columbine massacre, and the fact that it depicted the destruction of the city.
  • Phone Booth, the Colin Farell movie with his character stuck in a phone booth at the mercy of a sniper (voiced by Keifer Sutherland), was originally supposed to be released in October 2002. In light of the D.C. Sniper attacks, it was moved to April 2003.
  • The Boondock Saints was also set to be released in theatres the same week as the Columbine shootings, and ended up having an extremely limited release (five theatres in the country, for one week). The film would've been doomed by the coincidence then and there had people not started talking about it to their friends and pen pals and brought about high sales of the DVD, causing it to become a major Cult Classic and leading to a sequel.
  • "O" was delayed after the Columbine shootings, since the film featured gun violence among high school students. It was postponed from its April 1999 release date and wasn't released until summer 2001.
  • Teaching Mrs. Tingle, about high schoolers getting revenge on their teacher, was retitled from "Killing Mrs. Tingle" because of Columbine.
  • Advertisements for the 1991 B horror film Body Parts, in which the protagonist whose arm is severed in an accident receives a limb transplant from a dead serial killer, were pulled in Wisconsin because the promotion and release of the film coincided with the discovery of the Jeffrey Dahmer killings.
  • Trailers for the film The Dilemma were pulled due to Vince Vaughn's character describing hybrid cars as gay ("but not in a homosexual way") after a rash of gay teen suicides.
  • Wes Craven's original vision for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) was to make his villain Freddy Krueger a child molester and rapist as well as a child killer, but had to excise this little detail because he wanted to avoid being accused of exploiting a series of highly-publicized child molestations that was happening in California at the time the movie was being made. The 2010 remake, though, restores said detail.
  • Warner Bros. pulled the Clint Eastwood-directed film Hereafter from Japanese theaters after the Sendai earthquake and tsunami, as the film's opening sequence contains a harrowing tsunami disaster.
  • In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, No. 2 informs Dr. Evil that his plan to end the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales has been overtaken by real-life events - an exchange cut from the British release, thanks to another far more tragic real-life event involving the Princess of Wales which happened the week before.
  • The Norwegian theatrical release of We Need to Talk About Kevin (a movie about a mother dealing with the fact that her son had massacred the kids at his school) was postponed from autumn 2011 to 2012 due to the recent Utoya massacre. This massacre is also the probable reason why it saw little distribution and got snubbed at the Oscars
  • The James Bulger murder, which killed any chance of Mikey ever being released in Britain for the foreseeable future (that, and the fact that it isn't really a film worth fighting for), also delayed a re-release of at least one Video Nasty, Zombie Creeping Flesh, for the next several years; the BBFC told the distributors that now would not be the best time to submit the film for rating. It wasn't until 2002 that the BBFC decided to accept a submission of the film, and the distributors' patience was duly rewarded: the film was rated 18 uncut. Interestingly, the video release of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs was held up until 1995 for the same reason.
  • Warner Bros. was advised shortly after the Video Nasty crisis that it would be too soon to attempt a home video re-release of The Exorcist (which was always legal to exhibit in theatres, mind you), which ultimately didn't return to shelves until 1999.
  • The Enzian Theater, an independent Central Florida-based movie theater, was planning on doing a special screening of Die Hard for Father's Day in 2016, but following the events of the Pulse nightclub shooting, it was pulled and replaced with a screening of Airplane!.
  • This is the reason why then-regular Lucio Fulci collaborator Dardano Sacchetti is uncredited for his work on Zombi 2. Specifically, his father had died before the film premiered, and he didn't wish at the time to be associated with a film where the dead come back to life only to be killed a second time.
  • The Ben Stiller movie Neighborhood Watch, about suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch and end up fighting aliens, had its marketing pulled from movie theaters in the wake of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch man in Sanford, Florida. The film was subsequently renamed The Watch, with the marketing revamped to focus more on the alien aspect than the neighborhood watch.
  • The Walter Hill film Trespass was originally titled Looters and was scheduled for release in summer 1992. After the L.A. Riots, the film was pushed back to December and had its title changed to avoid negative connotations.
  • The red-carpet premieres of The Dark Knight Rises in France, Mexico, and Japan were cancelled in the wake of the horrific shooting on the film's North American opening day (July 20, 2012) when a Spree Killer stormed a midnight showing in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people were killed and seventy more were injured, and to make matters worse, the gunman called himself The Joker after he was arrested. Ads touting the movie have also reportedly been pulled, and Warner Bros. opted to give final box office updates for the film on Monday, rather than through the weekend, out of respect for the victims of the Aurora shooting.
  • Speaking of the Aurora shooting, Gangster Squad was hit badly by this. Not only was it pushed back from September 2012 to January 2013, but the entire ending had to be rewritten and reshot due to its depiction of gangsters shooting up a movie theater. The trailer, which included scenes from that shootout (and which played in front of The Dark Knight Rises at many theaters), had to be pulled and redone for the same reason. Only time will tell if the offending sequence will be included on a future home video release.
  • Apparently, in the city of Aurora, Colorado, the wounds were still raw seven years later, because the theater where the shooting happened opted not to show the film Joker (2019) for this reason. It didn't help that the film was already intensely controversial before its release, due to concerns about its portrayal of the Joker as a beaten-down loner who snaps and turns to crime and terrorism, which many felt was evocative of any number of then-recent mass shootings, Aurora included.
  • As a result of the Columbine shooting, Scream 3 was delayed several months, and toned down for violence.
  • When A Night at the Opera was re-released during World War II, several lines mentioning Italy were deleted from almost all surviving prints, leaving them unheard for several decades until a print with the offending material intact was discovered in Hungary in 2008.
  • The film I Love You, Daddy, written, directed by, and starring Louis C.K., was originally set for a limited release on November 17, 2017, having attracted plenty of award-season buzz after being filmed in secret over the summer. However, it was pulled indefinitely by its distributor just a week before it came out after CK confessed to several instances of sexual harassment, which was very similar to the movie's plot of a Hollywood producer trying to stop his teenage daughter from dating a 70-year-old film director (who was heavily based on Woody Allen).
  • The 3D version of Top Gun was not released until February 2013 due to director Tony Scott's passing; though he lived to see its completion, Paramount apparently didn't want the release to be seen as exploitative, and given that post-converted 3D already has enough of a bad reputation as it is...
  • The Jack Reacher and Django Unchained red carpet premieres were postponed in the immediate wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (Both films are violent action movies, hence the reason why it was postponed.)
  • Following Haruki Kadokawa's arrest for drug smuggling, his Live-Action Adaptation of Rex: A Dinosaur Story, another CLAMP manga (see Anime/Manga for another example of CLAMP falling victim to this trope), was pulled from theatres. No further attempts have been made at live-action films of CLAMP's manga since.
  • The 2013 version of Carrie was pushed back from March 15 to October 18, just two months before its planned release date. The studio's explanation was that it was to take advantage of the lucrative Halloween market for horror films, but director Kimberly Peirce contends that the real reason was the Sandy Hook shooting making it uncomfortable to release a film with Carrie's subject matter (a bullied high school student murdering her classmates at the prom) just three months afterwards.
  • Steamboat Bill, Jr. was originally meant to incorporate a large flood as the disaster that hits the town. However, due to a real Mississippi flood and bickering amongst the producers, the flood plot was changed to a "cyclone."
  • One theory for Muppets Most Wanted's box office underperforming, as raised by user comments at Disney-insider website, is that the movie — which has a plot point of Kermit being incarcerated in a Russian gulag — was coincidentally released smack-dab in the middle of the 2014 crisis in Ukraine and Crimea. Never mind that the film never mentions the Ukrainian crisis, or that Ukraine and Russia are two separate countries.
  • In-Universe example for Jurassic World, when Lowery shows Claire the T-shirt bearing the original Jurassic Park's logo (one of the unused original shirts from the first park, which he paid a lot for on eBay), Claire responds with distaste at how the original logo serves as a reminder of all the people who died in the events of the first film.
  • Inside Out aired on Starz Kids at 2:00AM EST on March 22, 2016. The film reached the point where Joy and Bing Bong fall into the memory dump just as the Brussels attacks began. Starz responded to this by pulling most of the planned airings of the film (which were supposed to be aired every single day for the next 14 days) across their networks and either replaced them with other films such as Look Who's Talking, Cinderella and Pixels, or showed the film during prime time or early in the morning.
  • This has been speculated to be the reason why Toei made such impossible demands for an international release of Battle Royale as a wide theatrical release; specifically, they had heard about Columbine and realized that allowing such a film as that to be released in America so soon after the 1999 shooting would be in poor taste.
  • Sully had its Brazilian release postponed in two weeks given a few days before its scheduled debut an airplane taking a local team to Colombia crashed, killing 71 people, even if Sully is about a plane saved from such a disaster by its pilot.
  • Get Out was originally supposed to have a Downer Ending where Chris would've escaped Rose's family, only to be killed or arrested by a racist cop while fleeing the scene. This was instead changed to a Bait-and-Switch ending where a cop car pulls up next to Chris, only for it to be revealed that the driver is his friend Rod, who is there to rescue him. Director Jordan Peele says the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown convinced him to go with a more hopeful, escapist ending where the black guy actually gets to survive his ordeal.
  • Targets had its release delayed due to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, which ultimately ended up hurting it at the box office. However, it's since been Vindicated by History.
  • Wonder Woman had its London premiere cancelled after the 2017 terrorist bombing in Manchester. The same thing ended up happening with The Mummy's UK premiere as well.
  • In 1966, CBS pulled an airing of Psycho at the last minute in response to the murder U.S. Senator Charles H. Percy's daughter just days before it was to air, replacing it with Kings Go Forth.
  • Amazon Studios cancelled the red carpet premiere of Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel after their CEO Roy Price got caught up in the Great Hollywood Sex Scandal of 2017; Allen was already just another celebrity to have been caught up in a sex scandal by that point.
  • A showing of It (1990) was pulled from UK television following the recent murder of ten-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
  • NTV didn't show Ponyo for two years because of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
  • In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, there was originally a scene in which Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane would visit a Chicago radio station and Ferris would talk about how "come next year, I'll be the first kid to ride on the Space Shuttle". It was even featured in the film's trailer. Unfortunately, however, less than five months before the film was released, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch, resulting in the deaths of all seven aboard, including New Hampshire schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. Because of this, John Hughes had the trailer recalled from theaters and the line was edited out of the final film.
  • Happy Death Day 2U's release date was bumped up from Feb 14, 2019, to Feb 13, 2019, so it wouldn't fall on the first anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Screenings were pulled altogether in the area surrounding Parkland, Florida, where the shooting took place.
  • Small Soldiers:
    • The scene of the Commandos attacking Phil Fimple had to be edited down after Phil Hartman's murder.
    • The Kip Killigan toy was not distributed in Oregon, as a teen called Kip Kinkel went on a shooting spree there shortly before the film was released.
  • The horror Escape Room had its release in Polish cinemas cancelled after five people died in a fire in an escape room in Poland, just a week before the scheduled release date. The film was instead released on DVD a few months later.
  • After John Lasseter's resignation from Disney/Pixar following allegations of sexual misconduct, a Casting Couch Hilarious Outtake involving Stinky Pete and the Barbies ("I’m sure I could get you a part in Toy Story 3...") was removed for the 2019 4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital releases of Toy Story 2.
  • The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 resulted in the temporary removal of a joke where his name comes up as a punchline from the film the joke named, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
  • Universal Studios pulled marketing material, then later cancelled the original September 27th, 2019 release of the movie The Hunt (2020) in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, which killed 22 people and Dayton, Ohio which killed nine people, merely saying that "now is not the right time to release this film". It doesn't help that the film had already garnered controversy over its plot (liberal "elites" versus conservative "deplorables") by both sides of the political spectrum. The release date was eventually moved to March 13, 2020 after spending a few months in The Shelf of Movie Languishment.
  • The film Blue Story, which was about street gangs in London, was pulled from theaters across the UK after a machete fight occurred at a screening of Frozen II.
  • After Cameron Boyce, who plays Carlos in the film, suffered a fatal seizure, the Hollywood premiere of Descendants 3 was cancelled out of respect for him.
  • One of the marketing posters for Power Rangers showed the Yellow Ranger and had the text "Driver's Ed not required" on it. It was removed after fans complained that it was insensitive because Thuy Trang, who played the Yellow Ranger in the series the film adapts, died in a car crash in 2001. The film itself averts this, and the film's counterpart of Trini also wears a shirt with Trang's birthdate of 1973 on it.
  • In wake of the death of George Floyd, HBO Max pulled Gone with the Wind so that a content warning could be added concerning the film's content.

  • Phenomena book 7 was this according to Word of God, because of some recent events that was about 5 months before release, but it was published anyway.
  • Dean Koontz set up his Frankenstein trilogy to involve artificially-created monsters rampaging through New Orleans during a hurricane. Due to the destruction caused in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, the third book was delayed, finally being released in July 2009.
  • This was also the reason why Animal Farm was made into an allegory involving animals. George Orwell originally intended for it to directly expose some of the horrific crimes committed by the Soviet Union since Stalin came to power, but because the Soviets under Stalin were part of the Allied Forces during World War II, the book publishers could not release the book without risking Stalin either abandoning their alliance, or worse, attacking them.


  • MAD, being a topical satire magazine, has had this happen a few times:
    • Issue #122 featured mascot Alfred E. Neuman holding a pin before several balloons with caricatures of contemporary politicians on them. The original art featured a caricature of Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated just before the issue was set to print. As a result, his likeness was hastily replaced with one of Alfred.
    • Issue #411's original cover art featured Alfred mistaking crime scene tape for the finish line of a foot race. This cover art was deemed in poor taste after 9/11, and hastily replaced with a closeup stock image of Alfred's face featuring an American flag in place of his missing tooth.
    • Cartoonist Al Jaffee had originally created a Fold-In themed around the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, but the editors decided that it was in poor taste and destroyed several copies of an issue. It was finally deemed acceptable for print in June 2019.

  • In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in December 2012, radio stations across the US refused to play several songs that were deemed insensitive due to their lyrics despite the fact that they were big hits at the time, including Die Young by Kesha ("let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young"), Titanium by David Guetta and Sia ("you shoot me down, but I won't fall, I am Titanium") and Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People ("all the other kids with your pumped up kicks you better run, better run, faster than my bullets"). This last one was specially seen as problematic as (despite the Lyrical Dissonance) it talks about gun violence and mental health in young people.
  • Kylie Minogue's album Impossible Princess, released in 1997, was retitled Kylie Minogue in the UK following the death of Princess Di.
  • The Black Sabbath album Paranoid was originally going to be called War Pigs, but was retitled due to The Vietnam War. Of course, the war was already going on, and "War Pigs" (the song) was probably about the Vietnam War on some level. The retitle was intended to make the album marketable, and the song stayed on. Still, the cover depicting a soldier remained. Also, the album tour was considered to be in bad taste by many because it happened right on the heels of the Charles Manson murders - despite Charles Manson and Black Sabbath having absolutely nothing to do with each other, except for both being "dark."
  • "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus contains the line "Her boyfriend's a dick; he brings a gun to school". However, the single was released around the time of the Columbine Massacre, and so the clean version had "gun" bleeped out along with "dick". Of course, if you hear the clean version on the radio or somewhere these days it can be a source of confusion.
  • The last verse to "I Get a Kick Out of You" was originally: "I get no kick in a plane / I shouldn't care for those nights in the air / That the fair Mrs. Lindbergh goes through." Following the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, however, Cole Porter changed it to the familiar "I get no kick in a plane / Flying too high with some gal in the sky / Is my idea of nothing to do."
  • Pam Tillis withdrew her 1995 single "I Was Blown Away" over concerns that the title would be insensitive in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombings.
  • In December of 2004, a major tsunami hit most of Indonesia and other islands. Radio stations in Germany removed "Die Flut" (The Flood) by Witt/Heppner, "Land unter" (high floods) by Herbert Grönemeyer and, most (in)famously "Die perfekte Welle" (The Perfect Wave) by Juli from regular schedules.
  • Stone Temple Pilots re-recorded an early demo called "Only Dying" with the intention of giving it to the soundtrack of The Crow - Once the film's lead actor Brandon Lee died in a stunt mishap during filming, the title was considered to be in poor taste, so a previously released song, "Big Empty", was used instead.
  • Radiohead's "Sulk" was originally going to have the line "just shoot your gun, you'll never change" as part of the refrain, and early live performances included this lyric. By the time it was recorded for The Bends in late 1994, "Just shoot your gun" became "Just like your dad", due to Kurt Cobain's then-recent suicide by gun. The song was actually inspired by a different tragedy, but one that would have been less fresh in listeners' minds at the time: A lone gunman's killing spree in Hungerford, England that had occurred in 1987.
  • Europe's signature single "The Final Countdown" was released in their home country just two weeks after the Challenger accident, which set its American release back three months.
  • Billy Joe Royal's single "Burned Like a Rocket" was climbing up the country music charts when the Challenger disaster occurred. As a result, radio stations withdrew the single from their playlists, ending the song's chart run.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's mega-concert Rendez-vous Houston was scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas on May 5th, 1986 to celebrate Houston's and Texas' 150th anniversary and NASA's 25th anniversary. Of course, the planning phase of such a huge event started in 1985 already. The show was to also feature Jarre's newest album, Rendez-vous, to be released in early 1986. Both on the album and at the show itself via live video link, the astronaut Ron McNair was planned to play a piece specifically written by Jarre for him on his saxophone aboard Challenger. After the shuttle exploded, Jarre wanted to cancel the entire concert, but NASA and McNair's friends and relatives convinced him to carry on and also make the concert a memorial for the victims of the disaster. The already heartfelt "Ron's Piece", the saxophone played by Kirk Whalum at the concert where it was the last number but one, became even moreso by leading it in with Ronald Reagan's eulogy for McNair projected on a skyscraper and the piece itself being accompanied by photo and video footage of Ron McNair as several-hundred-feet-high projections. To lift the spirits up again, Jarre continued with a projection of Kennedy's "We choose to go to the moon" speech and concluded the concert with the happy "Fourth Rendez-vous" which he even had to repeat as an encore. By the way, the Texans didn't mind Jarre going ahead with the concert so soon after the disaster: He broke his own audience world record with more than 1.5 million live spectators.
  • After the February 1, 2003, Columbia space shuttle disaster, some radio stations briefly stopped playing Mark Wills' "19 Somethin'", which contained the line "The space shuttle fell out of the sky" (in reference to the 1986 Challenger disaster). However, this was only a momentary dip at best, as the song still spent a monstrous seven weeks at #1.
  • Capsule's 2011 album was set to be released shortly after the Japanese tsunami but was delayed so the title could be changed from "Killer Wave" to "World of Fantasy."
  • Brian Eno's song "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More" (1974) was subject to this. It was originally titled "Turkish Airways Give You So Much More," referencing a then-recent plane crash. (Eno was fond of Gallows Humor and Black Comedy at the time.) The record company made him change it, though they somehow found a song about burning airlines acceptable.
  • Following Ray Rice's removal from the Baltimore Ravens for domestic abuse, a Rihanna performance that was slated to kick off the 2014 NFL season was scrapped (CBS feared having a domestic abuse victim perform at the NFL opener in the midst of the ongoing NFL domestic abuse scandal would put Rice's crimes at the forefront). Needless to say, Rihanna was not amused.
  • Trace Adkins withdrew his 2005 single "Arlington", a first-person view of a soldier buried in Arlington National Cemetery, because family members of soldiers lost in combat in Iraq felt that the material was too close to home for them.
  • The album Recover by Great White got an unauthorized reissue by an Italian record label in 2004. This alone wasn't good news for the band, but they might not have objected so strongly if the label hadn't renamed it Burning House of Love, a very sensitive title given that the year before, a fire had broken out at a Great White concert and killed 100 people. Right away, the band urged fans not to buy this version; the label did later rename it Love Removal Machine, though the band's still not happy that it was illegally re-released at all.
    • That wasn't the only illegally released Great White compilation with insensitive content that came out that year either, there was another compilation that combined "Recover" and the Led Zeppelin covers album "Great Zeppelin" called "A Double Dose". The original release featured a burning shark on the cover art, resulting in backlash from the band and fans alike and forcing the cover to be changed to a more innocuous shot of a shark emerging from the water.
  • Busted changed the title of what would become their first UK Number 1 single from Crash and Burn to You Said No after the Columbia disaster in 2003, deeming that the title would be "inappropriate" as a result. The track's title on the album would retain the original title until its reissue later in 2003.
  • An accidental case happened with the first Foo Fighters album, given back then reviewers and fans just thought everything a former Nirvana member would do just had to do with Kurt Cobain killing himself. Thus Billboard said the Ray Gun on the cover was "tasteless" even if it was just another sci-fi element like the band name, and others criticized the line "one shot, nothing" in "Weenie Beenie", when Dave Grohl wrote the song the same year he joined Nirvana.
  • Doug Supernaw's 1995 single "What'll You Do About Me" was subject to this. The song, originally written in The '80s, had a Stalker with a Crush theme that likely played more innocently at the time... but in the wake of the O. J. Simpson controversy, some felt that it was too sympathetic toward the stalker. The label tried to appease this by editing the lyric "I'm on the porch with a two-by-two" to "I'm on the porch with dinner for two", but this still wasn't enough: some stations still refused to play the song, and one in Terre Haute, Indiana banned the song after a local woman was murdered by a stalker. The pushback became so severe that the song plummeted off the charts and his label dropped him.
  • In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the title of Powfu & beebadoobee's "death bed" was changed to "death bed (coffee for your head)", with some radio DJs only referring to it as "Coffee For Your Head". Some radio stations also played an edit which changed the lyrics referring to death.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE stumbled into such a moment during the airing of a live broadcast. On the day it was discovered that Chris Benoit and his family were dead, WWE replaced a scheduled three-hour RAW episode with a tribute to Benoit's career. During the airing of the tribute, it became clear that the deaths were a murder-suicide, as the show was airing. WWE just has rotten luck when it comes to tragedies — so much so that they instantly turned a 180 — not only did Vince McMahon apologize for the tribute show, but ever since, Benoit has never been mentioned by name on any new WWE programming that has aired since his death, his name is almost completely wiped from their website (save for some minor mentions in title histories and whatnot), and footage containing Benoit in which he was a major part of has not been seen on WWE programming. Hooray for Hand Waving. Classic Benoit footage is available on the WWE Network (with a "does not reflect the views of the WWE or the personal lives of the wrestlers" content warning), several passing mentions of Benoit have come up on recent DVD releases, and — starting with Shawn Michaels a few months after Benoit's death — several WWE wrestlers have used the Benoit's signature submission hold, the Crippler Crossface (including the man who tapped to it at WrestleMania 20 — Triple H — and, on the same night, Trips busted it out for the first time, so did The Great Khali.) What makes this even worse? The Raw that was replaced was intended to be one of the major turning points in the "Who killed Mr. McMahon?" angle. A few weeks prior to Benoit's death, Vince had been (kayfabe) blown up after stepping into a limo, and the three-hour Raw was intended to reveal who the perpetrator was. Following the Benoit murder-suicide, the angle was dropped completely, with Vince reappearing on Raw a month later to explain that he'd faked the explosion in an attempt to see what people really thought of him.
  • Late in its run, the braintrust at WCW decided to repackage goofy German dancer Alex Wright into the Goth-like Foreign Wrestling Heel Berlyn. Trouble was, Berlyn debuted shortly around the time of Columbine, and his attire (specifically, his ring jacket), apparently drew too many comparisons to the killers. WCW was then forced to drop the character after a handful of appearances, and Wright went back to being himself and partnered with Disco Inferno as the Boogie Knights.
  • On an episode of RAW in 2012, wrestling manager A.W. said "Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant in a hotel room: unstoppable!" That was a reference to Bryant's rape charges, which had happened a few years earlier. With WWE trying to paint themselves as a family-friendly program, and with Linda McMahon running for Senate, WWE fired A.W. for the reference.
  • In 2014, Rusev and his manager, Lana (actually, American born Catherine Perry) began a Foreign Heel gimmick where they were Russian sympathizers while degrading America at every opportunity, all to draw heat. The "Russian who hates America" gimmick dated to the height of the Cold War, but the WWE, Rusev and Lana took this a step farther when, at the 2014 Battleground pay-per-view event, Lana delivered a heel promo prior to Rusev's "United States vs. Russia" match with Jack Swagger blaming the United States for "recent current" world events and praising Russian president Vladimir Putin. Some in the media viewed the promo as a veiled reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 three days earlier.note The WWE was forced into damage control, making a statement to and various professional wrestling websites that Lana's scripted promo "was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy," but both the mainstream media and professional wrestling journalists strongly disagreed, with at least one writer saying that a reasonably intelligent viewer could conclude that Lana's promo was making reference to the plane crash.

  • A 1955 Goon Show episode, "The Pevensey Bay Disaster" which featured a train crash was postponed and replaced by a repeat of an earlier episode because of a real-life crash at Didcot in which 10 people died and 116 were injured. Annoyed by the show's cancellation, Spike Milligan re-submitted the script under a new title, "The Hastings Flyer — Robbed", and this version was duly recorded and broadcast five weeks later. "The Pevensey Bay Disaster" was finally broadcast at the end of the series, five months after it was originally scheduled, and confusing listeners who had already heard the same story under a different title.
  • After the December 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean most radio stations pulled a popular song at the time, "Die Perfekte Welle" ("The Perfect Wave"). There was nothing official but it was conspicuous that a song placed high in single charts wasn't played anymore.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In early 2020 Epic Games intended to release three new digital board games on their platform and make them available for free during the week leading up to the official launch. However one of these games, Pandemic was too close to home for comfort considering the real life 2019–20 pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) once media outlets started reporting and commenting on the poor timing, Epic Games pulled the plug on Pandemic and as of this writing is still not available on the platform. The other two games (Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride) launched with no issue.
  • The Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths set Magic: The Gathering set to release in spring 2020, features a few Godzilla-themed reskins of some of the cards in it. Among them, the reskin for Void Beckoner was "Spacegodzilla, Death Corona", named after Spacegodzilla's Breath Weapon, the Corona Beam. While it was too late to remove it from the set's initial printing, future printings will not include the variant due to the coronavirus pandemic.


  • After a performer in Cirque du Soleil's KA died from a fall during the late show on June 29, 2013, the show went on hiatus until July 16 as the company and authorities began investigating the disaster. Beyond the logistical reasons for the hiatus, much of the show's Spectacle involves characters falling, sometimes to their doom, so going on with it in the immediate wake of the company's first onstage death would come off as poor taste. When the show reopened, the Battlefield sequence that the death occurred in was gone — even though it was the climax. Luckily the scene preceding it was The Centerpiece Spectacular and worked as a substitute; the original climax was finally reinstated in late 2014. This event was also the likely reason that the premiere and afterparty of a sister production in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson ONE, was not chatted up at Cirque's official website, YouTube channel, Facebook pages, etc. after the buildup to its launch: As it happened, the KA accident took place the same night, during the new show's afterparty.
  • Anything Goes originally had a subplot in the first act that involved a fake bomb scare. This was written out after the SS Morro Castle caught fire, though this was not the only part of the book Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse had to rewrite. note 
  • Some of Gary Coleman's lines in Avenue Q specifically one about how he's already achieved his purpose and how everything since is just a "slow, tiresome walk to the grave", were cut following the real Coleman's death.
  • For the 2016 Tony Awards, Hamilton performed the song "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)," which takes place during the final battle of the Revolutionary War. In response to the Pulse nightclub shooting that had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, however, musket props were removed from the performance.
  • For a few weeks after the Parkland shooting, Jared's line in Dear Evan Hansen that describes a classmate's haircut was changed from “school shooter chic” to “troubled teen chic”.
  • After the death of Thomas Monson, post-January 2018 showings of The Book of Mormon replace the line "I believe that the current President of the Church Thomas Monson speaks directly to God" in the song "I Believe" with either "I believe that the former President of the Church Thomas Monson spoke directly to God" (in the touring version) or "I believe that the current President of the Church Russell Nelson speaks directly to God". (in the Broadway version)
  • The 2019 Chicago pre-Broadway tryout of the Michael Jackson Jukebox Musical Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough was supposedly scrapped due to an Actors' Equity strike, but given the announcement of the cancellation came in the wake of the Sundance premiere of the documentary Leaving Neverland — which went into gruesome detail about alleged child sexual abuse committed by the singer — many people suspected it was really this trope in action. The show instead went straight to Broadway as MJ — The Musical in 2020.

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • The original plan for the former Superstar Limo attraction at Disney's California Adventure had it being a thrill ride that involved the guests trying to escape from the paparazzi, who would be in high-speed pursuit. The idea was scrapped completely in light of Princess Diana's death, who died in a car crash while trying to get away from the paparazzi. The results were disastrous.
    • After a toddler was dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon and killed by an alligator at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida on June 14, 2016, many changes were made:
      • Disney asked its cast members not to say the iconic one-liner "Watch your children, or the crocodiles will!" (or any jokes about the gators and crocodiles) in the Jungle Cruise attraction anymore.
      • The incident also caused Louis to be written out of the Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire show, which debuted just three days later.
      • Additionally, the Tick-Tock float in the Festival of Fantasy parade and the crocodile animatronics in Living with the Land were both temporarily removed in direct response to the incident.
      • Press junkets for the re-opening of Epcot's popular attraction Soarin' as well as the park's new Frozen Ever After ride were also cancelled, due to both this and the Orlando nightclub shooting that had occurred just days before the alligator attack leaving no one in a particularly celebratory mood. None of this stopped the latter ride from being a huge hit from the get-go.
      • As mentioned above under Live-Action TV, most of the media coverage Disney planned for the opening of Shanghai Disneyland Resort in China ended up postponed thanks to these incidents, although the grand opening ceremony special aired on The Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior as scheduled.
      • In the Disney Junior Live On Stage! show's Jake And The Neverland Pirates segment, the audience had to make alligator noises to scare Captain Hook. After the incident, the audience now claps to scare him.
    • Due to ongoing racial tensions in the United States, the retheming of Splash Mountain into a ride based off The Princess and the Frog was pushed up the announcement table.
  • At Universal Studios:
    • Men in Black: Alien Attack was originally going to feature the "Tiffany" cutout from the first movie in the attraction's opening training scene for riders to shoot at; but after the Columbine massacre had occurred, it was decided that this would be in extremely poor taste.
    • When Universal Studios Florida was in its early planning stages back in 1982, concepts were drawn up for an elaborate nighttime lagoon show that would've featured an explosive finale where a plane would crash right into the water. This idea wound up being abandoned following the devastating helicopter incident that occurred during production of Twilight Zone: The Movie.
    • When Fast & Furious: Supercharged opened at Universal Studios Hollywood, Agent Novak's dialogue towards Roman Pierce was more aggressive, with Novak telling Roman to "get down on the ground" while holding him at gunpoint. Novak's dialogue was later softened to have him just say "Don't move" to Roman, in response to the many police brutality controversies occurring around the nation at the time.
    • In response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, Universal postponed its initial grand opening date and press junket for the Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction until July 13th.
    • The nightclub shooting also led to Universal delaying the release of any new announcements they had concerning Halloween Horror Nights until the next month, as well as cancelling plans for a scarezone based on The Purge: Election Year.
    • Twister...Ride it Out was slated to open in March 1998, but ended up being pushed back several months out of respect, because in the February of that same year there had been an outbreak of tornadoes in Central Florida that claimed 42 lives and injured 260 others, the deadliest outbreak in Florida history.
    • During construction of Universal Studios Japan, Universal opted to duplicate the Backdraft attraction instead of Earthquake: The Big One, as they feared that Japanese audiences would be uncomfortable with the attraction, considering how Japan has been home to many devastating earthquakes.
    • For the versions of Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time that were at the Florida and Hollywood parks, Sarah Connor would show the audience various clips from the Terminator 2 movie in the pre-show, one of those clips being Sarah's nightmare of the nuclear destruction of Los Angeles. When the show was brought over to Universal Studios Japan, the Los Angeles clips were omitted, so as to not remind Japanese guests of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    • The 2002 theme of Halloween Horror Nights was initially going to revolve around an evil undead girl known as "Cindy", but it was scrapped due to there being a string of child murders in the area at the time. The event's theme for that year was changed to revolve around "The Caretaker", who was Cindy's father in the original backstory.

    Video Games 
  • Although it was first of a two-part video game, Persona 2: Innocent Sin was not translated into English despite Atlus' interest in localizing the title. Ostensibly, this was due to the game's storyline involving Nazis and the resurrection of Adolf Hitler, as well as fighting the main character's high school principal and a teacher in the game committing suicide in a school's belltower. The aforementioned No Swastikas issue was actually used as cover for a far more serious reason, though; Innocent Sin may have been translated had it not been at the time of the Columbine High School Massacre (it should be noted that the main characters of Innocent Sin are high school students, and one of the game's gimmicks involves equipping them with guns. Even though the Updated Re-release managed to make it stateside, any references to Nazis were removed, and Hitler was disguised with sunglasses and a trench coat, and referred to as "The Fuhrer" (though the censorship occurs in the Japanese release as well due to a rule change at CERO.)
  • The NES game Bionic Commando involved Nazis resurrecting Hitler, but the US release was edited to change the group to the Badds and the resurrectee to Master D. The animations were not changed, though, and he still had the signature moustache (and his head still explodes when you kill him at the end).
  • The Japanese version of Fallout 3 has part of a quest removed where you can nuke an entire town; specifically, the NPC Mr. Burke. Without him, you can't set off the nuke. Also, the Fat Man (named after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki) was renamed to Nuka-Launcher. However, in Fallout: New Vegas, the upgrade kit for the Fat Man that halves its weight is called "Little Boy" (the Hiroshima bomb). That made it to the Japanese version unchanged.
  • Future information on the Visual Novel Root Double: Before Crime * After Days (about a group of people trapped in a nuclear reactor after it goes through a meltdown) was postponed for nearly five months due to the 2011 Sendai Earthquake in Japan, which led to the partial meltdown of several nuclear reactors.
  • The Zettai Zetsumei Toshi series (which is basically a Survival Horror series in which the "horror" is a collapsing Japanese city) was effectively dead for 5 years because of the Sendai tsunami and earthquake.
  • Motor Storm: Apocalypse (which features racing through an earthquake-ravaged city) was delayed due to the 2011 Japanese earthquake.
  • In-universe example from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The present ruler of Solitude feels this way about the annual festival where a hated tyrant is burned in effigy - enough so to cancel it, in fact. Her husband, the High King was just murdered, so a festival celebrating the death of a king, even a tyrant, is probably less than appropriate. Interestingly, the modified version of the effigy burning (which is part of the Bard's College entry quest) can be seen as supporting the old High King, by painting the hated tyrant as a false king who came to power by force and treachery, just as Ulfric Stormcloak (the murderer of the previous High King) plans to become.
  • An example that actually did occur in the Pokémon games; specifically, the first generation remakes. In the original, published in 1996, one of the exhibits in the Pewter City museum was the Space Shuttle Columbia. In the international remakes, published in 2004, it was a nameless spacecraft. The Columbia burned up in reentry in 2003. It is notable that the shuttle kept its name in the Japanese version of those remakes.
  • A March 2020 Psychic Pokémon event in Pokémon GO which had previously hyped the introduction of both Gothita and Solosis, suddenly appeared to drop mentions of Solosis in later promotional material for the event, while still hyping up Gothita. Solosis was still obtainable in the event, but the reduced mentions of the Cell Pokémon were likely due to the unfortunate coronavirus connotations. Any material that referenced going outside had to be tweaked (including their Twitter bio), Raid and Safari Zone events were postponed and cancelled, and many game mechanics were altered to make it easier for players to play inside, such as selling boxes of Incense and Poke Balls at dirt-cheap prices. The Abra Community Day event was also postponed for the same reason to April 25, with the event being significantly retooled to make it easier to play from home.
  • The NES version of Super Contra was retitled Super C to avoid connotations with the Iran-Contra scandal that was going on at the time.
  • When Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was first conceived, the plot was going to involve Solid Snake and Liquid Snake fighting in the Middle East, and Liquid revealing that he had actually faked his death in MGS1. This concept was scrapped once the Middle East conflict began in real life. However, they did keep the Middle East idea for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where the first act of the game takes place in a vaguely Middle-Eastern country of some variety.
  • The Sega Dreamcast launched with House of the Dead 2, and an official Sega-made light gun controller was set for release along with it. But the Columbine school shootings prevented the official gun from being released, while third-party companies got away with releasing theirs.
  • The US release of Resident Evil Gun Survivor had its lightgun support removed entirely due to Columbine.
  • Weeks before Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back was released in Japan, a murder was committed in Japan in which the murderer left only the head and feet of the victim. Because of this, a death animation that involved Crash being pressed down to merely a head and feet had to be cut from the Japanese release, in fear that the Japanese would find it tasteless due to said real-life murder.
  • In Dance Dance Revolution X3, one of the Encore Extra Stages was "Tohoku EVOLVED" (now available for standard play), a song made in tribute to the victims of the 2012 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. If you tried to invoke this trope by getting a AA on your Extra Stage with the Wave modifier turned on, the game prevents you from playing "Tohoku EVOLVED".
  • The 1988 BBC Micro game Pipeline was originally set on an oil platform, but after the Piper Alpha explosion, the setting was changed to a sulphur mine in outer space.
  • During the 1.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV, Titan (an earth-based godly being) and Leviathan (water godly being) were going to be released into the game with an update, but when the tsunami-earthquake disaster struck Japan in 2011, Square-Enix withheld the two boss characters since they felt launching characters who can cause earthquakes and tidal waves would be too close to home for its Japanese players. The two characters were eventually patched into the game a few years later.
  • Plants vs. Zombies features a type of zombie that spawns other zombies as backup dancers as it boogies toward your brains. Its original design was based on Michael Jackson's appearance in Thriller, but was changed to a stereotypical disco dancer after his death.
    Opening Message: Any resemblance to persons living or undead is purely coincidental.
  • Transfer Pak support for Perfect Dark was nerfed severely following the Columbine shooting in 1999. The game was originally intended to hook up with the Game Boy Camera to create characters with real-life faces, but Nintendo nixed that, their rare willingness to authorize the release of a violent M-rated video game from a second-party company notwithstanding, because in light of the backlash against violent video games that followed they realized a feature like that in a game that was already violent enough for an M rating as it was would come across as tasteless at best. Strangely, it took years until anyone related to the game's development was willing to just say that was the reason - before then, they claimed "technical limitations".
  • Bonk: Brink of Extinction was going to be the Bonk series' return as a downloadable title for the PS3, 360 and Wii, the plot of which involved Bonk attempting to save the world from an incoming meteor. It ended up cancelled in March of 2011 in part because of the Fukushima disaster.
  • The Nintendo Switch version of Death Road to Canada was delayed out of respect for the victims of the terrorist attack in Toronto, Canada on April 23rd, 2018, which was only a few days before the game's scheduled release date.
  • Get Even, a game set in the United Kingdom, was originally going to be released on May 26, 2017, but it was pushed back a month following the Manchester Arena bombing.
  • A Nintendo Direct was supposed to come out on September 6th, 2018, but was delayed for a week due to the Hokkaido earthquake, which affected the company's home country.
  • The 2020 civil unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police lead to the delaying of several video game-related events:
    • An event showcasing the Playstation 5 was originally slated for June 4, but wound up getting delayed to June 11 due to the protests. Sony stated that it was not the time for celebration, and that they wanted to "stand back and allow more important voices to be heard".
    • Nintendo and Game Freak quietly delayed the announcement for the expansions for Pokémon Sword and Shield from its planned June 2 livestream in English-speaking regions for the same reason.
    • The "Night City Wire" presentation for Cyberpunk 2077 was pushed back from June 11 to June 25 by CD Projekt RED in light of the events in Minneapolis.
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)'s fourth season was postponed from its original June 2 release date for similar reasons to the Playstation 5's delay. Additionally, the release of a season of an online military shooter would've been in poor taste, as some protests saw military action being taken to quell them.
  • At one point in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reveal stream for Min Min, Sakurai makes a brief joke about social distancing which is omitted from the official English subtitles, likely for this reason (the official subtitles simply say "They're far too close...").

  • An attempt to use the Japanese tsunami to indicate Bob the Angry Flower's lack of empathy ended up reflecting on the webcomic the same way.
  • The Platypus Comix story "Vess MacMeal Starring in: The More You Know!", which has a Ludd Was Right ending, experienced a two-week delay. Otherwise, it would have appeared a few days after Steve Jobs' death.
  • The creator of Megatokyo had been working on a separate, unreleased comic called "Warmth" for several years. But then the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan destroyed much of Sendai, the comic's intended setting. At this point, it's indefinitely in Development Hell, and may never be released in its original form, or at all.

    Web Original 
  • The lonelygirl15 episode "Bree's Mom" was originally supposed to be entitled "Girl, Abducted", but was hastily retitled to avoid offending the fan community, after the vanishing and death of Nadia Kajouji, a friend of a prominent fan of the show.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • This affected the Nostalgia Critic's 200th review for Ponyo, in which he tries really hard to avoid making jokes about Japan being hit by tsunamis less than a year after it happened in real life and even expresses annoyance at one point when he realizes that he had been provoked into almost cracking such a joke.
    One Ponyo character: Hey, that is quite a boat you've got there.
    Another Ponyo character: I've seen you before. You're Lisa's little boy, aren't you?
    Nostalgia Critic: Boy, they sure are chipper for everything they've ever known suddenly being lost. In fact, a lot of people in this movie treat it like an inconvenience, like the power went out and it will just be on in a second. They don't act like they just lost their house and home. But hey, I'm sure that's a reaction a lot of people would have when they went through... dammit, you almost made me make a joke about it!
    • He also delayed his review of The Good Son after Macaulay Culkin's sister died.
    • After Michael Jackson's death, Doug and Rob released a commentary for their review of Moonwalker, explaining they'd had a brief discussion about whether or not to remove it from the site after his death. They had decided to keep it up, feeling they never went too far with the jokes.
  •'s list of "The 5 Major Cities Most Likely to Be Spectacularly Destroyed", putting a few possible natural disasters (volcanoes in Italy, mudslides in Seattle, earthquakes in San Francisco and basically everything in Wellington) came out the same day of a tragedy. They took it down in respect temporarily (and banned all the users who complained). It was put back up the following day with the title of the article changed to "5 Major Cities Most Likely to Be Wiped Away by Natural Disasters".
  • In light of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 Film Brain delayed his 2012 Bad Movie Beatdown review from its intended March release, removed a couple of lines which he felt were callous and put up a disclaimer at the front of the review when it was released in May.
  • On What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?, Nash covered a news story involving extraordinary Jerkassery, it was accompanied by a Douchequake. This was temporarily retired after the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan.
  • Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation review of Yakuza 4 also coincided with the aforementioned earthquake and tsunami, prompting this to appear onscreen.
    The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan was an unqualified tragedy, and Yahtzee offers his deepest sympathies to a country that has long held his admiration and respect. This Statement was given to karmically balance out the following one.
    Yahtzee: Boy the Japanese are into some weird shit, aren't they?
  • A line was changed in RWBY Chibi where Sun Wukong, playing as a "Junior Detective" along with Neptune, yells out as Jaune is attempting to get his library card. In the original Tugg viewing, he shouted "HE'S REACHING!", but the public version has him shouting "WATCH OUT!", most likely due to a string of police-related shootings, especially one in Dallas.
  • Bob Chipman, who has (among other projects) a series called Really That Good about dissecting great movies to see why they work, was planning on doing a special Really That Bad episode on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but put it on hold after the suicide of Zack Snyder's daughter and his resulting departure from the reshoots on Justice League (2017). While he still intends to do the episode, as he especially hated that film and saw it as a portent of all the problems he had with the DC Extended Universe and with modern Hollywood moviemaking in general, he felt that the analytical approach to directors and writers that he does in Really That Good, which he'd have to apply to Snyder here, would've just felt like kicking the man while he was down had he released it as planned. As such, he delayed the episode in order to put some distance between its release and Snyder's personal tragedy, a decision that he felt was vindicated when his own father died in the course of making the episode. It also afforded him more time to work on it.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: Due to the unstable political climate in the United States, Nice Peter and Epic Lloyd decided to omit the "Hitler vs. Vader Trilogy" from their touring repertoire.
  • Originally, the SML Movie "Bowser Junior's 10th Birthday!" had a scene where the titular character receives Nickelodeon Kart Racers from his friend Cody and refuses to accept the present, aiming a blowtorch at the face of SpongeBob SquarePants. But because of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg from heart failure caused by ALS before the video was uploaded, the scene was removed from the final video.
  • Rapeman, a translator known for his very off-color scanlation bonus pages, released a chapter of Himenospia with a Remix Comic showing a character telling the audience to subscribe to PewDiePie. He got a warning from Mangadex about it (the phrase was used during the Christchurch mosque shootings), but it was let through since the chapter was released the same day and so may have been poorly timed. Two days later, another remix comic had a much more explicit reference (getting into a taxi with an assault rifle, asking the driver to take her to the nearest mosque, playing the same music in the video), and after asking him to remove only the remix from the release several times, the chapter was taken down.
  • Following the George Floyd murder and the subsequent resurrection of the Black Lives Matter movement that encouraged many nonblack content creators to listen more urgently to black issues, Musical Hell removed her reviews of The Wiz and The King and I. She explained that black viewers had informed her on how important The Wiz was for its representation and Christi believed she was not qualified to talk about the movie as a white woman, and she removed The King and I review due to jokes mangling Prince Chulalongkorn's name, which may be hurtful to Thai people.
  • A Twitter account dedicated to cataloguing Beanie Babies decided to no longer post Beanies themed around American patriotism following the murder of George Floyd and increased tension surrounding the American justice system.

    Western Animation 
  • After the above-mentioned Aurora movie theater massacre, the then-in-development Beware the Batman series was heavily edited so that all instances of realistic guns were changed to Family-Friendly Firearms.
  • Two Freakazoid! episodes featuring Diana, Princess of Wales, were pulled for several years after her death.
  • The usually shameless Drawn Together delayed the release of the episode "Terms of Endearment" (in which Captain Hero gets confined to a wheelchair as a side-effect of giving up his powers, a reference to the real-life accident which paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve) for over a year following Reeve's death. It was then almost delayed again when shortly before the rescheduled airdate, Reeve's widow announced she had a terminal illness.
  • Happens to Family Guy quite a bit.
    • The episode "The Fat Guy Strangler"note  was nearly delayed due to the cutaway of Brian forcing George W. Bush to come out of his treehouse and actually deal with the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
    • On May 1st, 2011, FOX's Sunday night Animation Domination line-up was supposed to include a three-part crossover special featuring all three Seth MacFarlane cartoons (The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, and American Dad!) meeting each other during a hurricane. Sadly, because the Southern and Midwestern United States was already getting pounded by tornadoes and floods, the episodes were pulled at the last minute and replaced with reruns of their respective shows. The three-part crossover eventually aired on October 2nd, 2011.
    • Christmas episodes for Family Guy ("Jesus, Mary, and Joseph") and American Dad ("Minstrel Krampus") were supposed to air on December 16, 2012, but were replaced with repeats in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre due to the episodes containing "insensitive" material. The Family Guy episode aired the following week as it was pulled more due to its religious themes (with the regular cast retelling the Nativity story) than anything else, but the American Dad episode didn't air until December 15, 2013 since it has gun violence, along with an undeniable Christmas theme that would've been awkward to air in the middle of April, though most of this doesn't really matter, as most FOX affiliates interrupted all of their Sunday night programming with live coverage of the memorial service of the shooting victims.
    • "Turban Cowboy" was removed from streaming on Hulu and the official FOX website (though it did eventually start airing in syndication many months later)) after the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 thanks to a double whammy: it has a terrorist-themed plot and a cutaway gag where Peter drunkenly runs over marathon runners with his car. The fact that someone put up a video claiming that the episode "predicted" the bombings by editing the two clips together (which Seth MacFarlane called "abhorrent") really didn't help matters.
    • Three minutes before the death of Robin Williams was announced, BBC Three aired the Family Guy episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2," which has the story "Fatman and Robin," in which Peter wishes that everything he touched turned to Robin Williams, which leads to Peter attempting suicide several times over how annoying Williams' comedy is. Making matters worse, the episode ends with Peter cutting off his hands at the wrists (preventing himself from turning any more people into Robin Williams) which was one of Williams' attempted suicide methods in real life. Soon, negative comments flooded the internet about this coincidence, and BBC banned it from ever airing again on their network. [adult swim] had the episode planned on their schedule on the day Robin Williams died too, but when news hit, they pulled the episode and aired another one. The episode has returned to rotation on all of these networks as of November 2017.
    • In light of the George Floyd protests, it was announced that white actor Mike Henry was stepping down from his role as Cleveland in the show, stating that "persons of color should play characters of color".
  • American Dad!:
    • In the episode "The Vacation Goo," there's a scene where the family walks into the living room (after being tricked into taking a virtual reality trip in the vacation goo) to find Stan watching a Georgetown game on TV and wearing Georgetown gear. According to the DVD commentary, Stan was originally going to wear Virginia Tech gear and be a Virginia Tech fan, but then the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech happened, so they had to change it to a less controversial school at the time.
    • In the episode "Francine's Flashback" the scene where Stan brings in Whitney Houston to sing a private apology performance for some cocaine was removed in airings following Houston's death (though the scene was eventually reinstated later), jumping straight from when Stan yells in horror from midnight fishing with his coworkers to Francine saying she will never forgive him for forgetting their anniversary.
    • The ending to "Pulling Double Booty" originally involved Hayley taking a matchbook and setting fire to a forest after realizing Stan tricked her into dating him by pretending to be his body double, Bill. This ending was cut from the episode's premiere showings on FOX and Adult Swim due to a large wildfire in Southern California that occurred shortly before (making the episode end with Hayley yelling, "Oh my God! Are you KIDDING ME?!"). The ending is restored on syndicated airings and on DVD.
  • The fourth season of the Total Drama series, Revenge of the Island takes place on a polluted Camp Wawanakwa that has become a toxic dumping ground since the events of Total Drama Island, resulting in many unsightly mutations of the island wildlife whom the contestants must dodge in the million dollar prize competition. Originally scheduled to debut in 2011, the nuclear disaster in Japan that year as a result of the tsunami forced the show's Canadian producers to delay the season and edit it extensively to mitigate any sort of insensitive reference to anything that could be tied to the disaster, like renaming the "Radioactive Rats" as the "Toxic Rats" for instance. The season eventually debuted in 2012.
  • Following Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash, MTV pulled a scheduled rerun the Celebrity Deathmatch episode "Sex, Lugs and Rock 'n' Roll'' in 2001, after the third segment of the episode showed every scene of car crashes in which it literately made light of fatal accidents, regardless of Earnhardt's death which made headline news during that time. note  However, MTV actually brought this episode back from being banned. The episode later returned to air on MTV on March 22, 2003, at 11:00 pm uncut.
  • King of the Hill:
    • An episode about a church being burned downnote  aired the same day as the Columbine shootings]. It was not broadcast in the Denver area or rerun there for quite some time.
    • The episodes about the Mega Lo Mart explosion and Buckley's death, as well as one in which Bill is suicidally depressed, were shelved from reruns in that area for a while too. In fact, two of the four remaining episodes of the show's third season - specifically, the episode in which Peggy visits a death row inmate and the episode with Buckley's Angel - were almost not broadcast at all in Denver. However, they were ultimately permitted to air, and at least one of them proved helpful to a young woman who had lost a friend in the shooting.
    • A throwaway line in "Joust Like a Woman" in which a teen boy calls the make-believe king at a Renaissance Faire "gay" was edited out of airings on [adult swim] following several high-profile suicides of teens who had been bullied for being gay in late 2010. The scene was reinstated on Adult Swim two years later.
    • Some network television stations ([adult swim] has aired the episode) which air King of the Hill in syndication pulled "The Peggy Horror Picture Show" from rotation following the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, as the episode contains outdated, confusing, and incorrect information about transsexuals (even though most of the people Peggy meet are said to be drag queens [who are gay men who only dress as women as part of a stage show or performance], Peggy's new friend, Caroline, in the episode is implied to be a pre-op transsexual, as she is a man named Jamie who dresses in drag and identifies as a woman, complete with being referred to as "she" and "her").
  • The Mumfie's Quest song "I Must Have My Night" had a line mentioning that flowers, fruits, and vegetables will suffer from mildew and blight when The Secretary of Night reached his goal. It was possibly cut from the movie because it possibly referenced the Great Famine, one of the most deadly events in Irish history, and would offend people whose ancestors came over to the country due to the blight.
  • Archer officially retired the "ISIS" name of the titular character's spy agency in Season 6, as the real world Islamic terrorist group with the same name had gotten a lot of press over a string of high profile murders. This may have been why the previous season featured ISIS being shut down by the FBI, with the cast temporarily becoming a drug cartel to make ends meet; most viewers naturally assumed that ISIS would be reassembled by next season, but Season 6 actually saw the cast becoming CIA subcontracts.
  • The Bonkers episodes "Fall Apart Bomb Squad" and "New Partners on the Block" (the latter of which is the first episode in which Bonkers' new partner is the blonde police officer, Miranda Wright, due to Lucky Piquel's retirement from the force) were both pulled from the rotation following the 1995 Oklahoma bombings, and strangely never came back to the air even before 9/11. To the delight of fans, both episodes resurfaced in 2019 with the launch of Disney+, fixing the Plot Hole caused by the latters absence.
  • In addition to pulling the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Mass Transit Trouble" after 9/11 (the second time this happened; see that page for more), Toon Disney also pulled "Magnificent Sonic" from rotation after the Columbine shooting due to extensive use of guns.
  • Disney Junior examples:
    • The Lion Guard episode "Never Roar Again" was delayed from June 24th, 2016 to November 2016 after the incident at Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian hotel in which a child was killed by an alligator since an alligator character played a major role in the episode.
    • The Doc McStuffins: Toy Hospital episode "First Responders to the Rescue" had its premiere on September 9, 2017, cancelled due to Hurricane Irma occurring on the same day, and the episode heavily featured a storm. The premiere was moved to September 23, but it was still released on demand and on the app the day of its intended release.
    • An encore of the Mickey and the Roadster Racers episode "Ye Old Royal Heist/Tea Time Trouble", which takes place in London, was meant to be shown on June 4, 2017, but was pulled from airing that day due to the London attacks happening not too long beforehand. Fortunately, it was back into rotation.
    • The Fancy Nancy episode "Camp Fancy/Nancy's Vanity D'Art" was originally meant to air on August 24, 2018, but was moved to three weeks later on September 14. This is because the former segment involved a rainstorm, which would be seen as insensitive due to Hurricane Lane hitting Hawaii.
  • Parodied in the Bojack Horseman episode "Thoughts and Prayers". The constant mass shootings force the producers of the action movie Ms. Taken to keep editing out scenes with gun violence until the movie is reduced to be about five seconds long and cancelled altogether.
  • On May 14th, 2019, the official Twitter for SpongeBob SquarePants posted a tweet quoting The Ugly Barnacle on the same day Tim Conway — who voiced recurring character Barnacle Boy — died of complications from brain surgery. After fans complained, the tweet was removed.
    • A similar incident happened when the Japanese Disney Twitter account tweeted a post themed after Alice in Wonderland which said "A very merry unbirthday to you!" in English accompanied by a picture of Alice holding a birthday cake, with the Japanese translation, "Happy nothing special day!", note  on the 70th anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing. Disney later apologized for the mistake.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series had two different episodes that were affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami:
    • Re-runs of the episode "Cannonball" were pulled because said episode revolved around the titular experiment causing tsunamis. It was put back in rotation two months later.
    • According to Jess Winfield, the episode "Ace" was supposed to have a scene where Lilo, Stitch and some of the experiments create a tidal wave to impress the head of E.G.O. with Pleakley playing a victim until, thanks to the episode's titular experiment, he unintentionally becomes the victim. Winfield and his staff thought it was insensitive to the victims of the tragedy, so they turned the episode into a Clip Show in which Jumba shows the head of E.G.O. videos of the experiments.
  • The premiere of Father of the Pride was delayed after Roy Horn's injury in October 2003. Instead of being a mid-season replacement as originally intended, it aired in the fall of 2004.
  • Several animated shows were affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic in early 2020:
    • Reruns of the Amphibia episode "Contagi-Anne" were pulled from Disney XD and Disney Channel because of the plot of Anne pretending to be sick so she can skip doing her chores. It's still on Disney+, though.
    • The Cartoon Network app pulled the Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart episode "Sick Mao", the We Bare Bears episode "Bubble" and the Teen Titans Go! episode "Body Adventure'' after the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, a clip from "Bubble" depicting all the germs Panda sees on the subway circulated the internet during the pandemic due to its relevance.
    • The Total Dramarama episode "Germ Factory" was pulled because in the episode, the toddlers intentionally try to get themselves sick.
    • Also removed were Craig of the Creek ("The Last Kid of the Creek"), Summer Camp Island ("Sneeze Guard"), and two Bakugan and Regular Show shorts.
    • On March 16, 2020, PBS affiliate WNET, which is based in New York City, the epicenter of the virus, aired the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episode "Daniel Gets a Cold; Mom Tiger Is Sick". While this might have been a way for children to cope with the coronavirus epidemic that was currently going on, said repeat wound up airing as every other broadcast station in the area broke into special reports about local governments making businesses shut down for two weeks as a preventative measure. A rerun of this same episode was planned for March 26th for most PBS affiliates (before they, too, wound up pulling reruns of that episode for almost four months); Thirteen wound up pre-empting it and instead aired "Daniel Is Jealous; Jealousy at the Treehouse". However, the episode is still on the PBS Kids app.
    • Boomerang removed reruns of the Garfield and Friends episodes "Peace and Quiet; Wanted: Wade; Garfield Goes Hawaiian" and "Attention-Getting Garfield; Swine Trek; It Must Be True!" from their channel because the plot of the third segment in the former episode involves Garfield catching the Hawaiian Cat Flu, despite the symptoms of the illness not resembling what one would consider to be the flu, and the second segment in the latter episode has its' plot spurred from Orson being sick in bed. Both are still on the Boomerang app, however, and the former episode returned on June 26, 2020.
    • The Lou and Lou: Safety Patrol episode "Don't Get The Flu" was pulled from DisneyNow due to the pandemic, despite the short's lessons on not spreading germs being the kind of thing networks were airing to help kids during the pandemic.
    • Reruns of the Ready Jet Go! episode "Sean Has a Cold" and its sister episode "Mars Rock for Mom" were pulled because of the former being about, well, Sean having a cold. It wouldn't air again until May 8. Since the pandemic was still going on around this time, some affiliates aired the episode in an early morning death slot to avoid a repeat of the Daniel Tiger incident. This included the aformentioned WNET, which wound up swapping Ready Jet Go's timeslot with a re-run of Arthur, the show that normally airs at 6AM.
    • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Kwarantined Krab", which involves the Krusty Krab going under quarantine due to an illness, was left unaired as a result of the outbreak.
    • [adult swim] pulled reruns of the American Dad! episode "Threat Levels" due to its A-plot involving Stan accidentally bringing home a deadly virus causing the CIA to put the whole family under quarantine.
  • On October 2nd, 2017, the Teen Titans Go! episode "Serious Business", which contains a running gag involving a bathroom exploding due to a timer, aired on the United States feed of Cartoon Network at 7:45AM, the exact time that most television channels that broadcast news announced that the Las Vegas shooting was the deadliest in history. Cartoon Network planned to air the episode two more times throughout the week with its' pairing episode "Caramel Apples", but replaced both half-hours with Extra Long Episodes of the show, and would not return to the schedule until late November.
  • After Surviving R. Kelly came out in 2019, [adult swim] pulled reruns of The Boondocks episode "The Trial of R. Kelly". Ironically, this happened right when Huey's "The Reason You Suck" Speech aimed at R. Kelly and everyone dancing in court went viral. The episode returned to rotation near the end of the year.
  • Due to the increase in gun violence in the years leading up to the premiere of Looney Tunes Cartoons, Warner Bros. announced that Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will no longer use firearms in any future work.
  • The Bubble Guppies episode "The Police Cop-Etition!" was pulled from both reruns and the Nick Jr. and Noggin apps due to the murder of George Floyd by police.
  • Being that one of its main canine characters is a police officer, PAW Patrol suffered from a bad case of this due to the death of George Floyd:
    • First, the social media accounts for the show went dark for five days in rememberance of George Floyd. After people complained about the posts specifically because of Chase, the accounts did not post anything for a month.
    • The Nick Jr. website features a specific character as the icon for their shows (for instance, Molly for Bubble Guppies and Blue for Blue's Clues & You!), with Chase being the character icon for PAW Patrol. On June 17th, 2020, the icon was changed to Marshall.
    • The Noggin app also changed its' icon for PAW Patrol from Chase to Marshall. Because of his promotion to icon status, the ads for the app themselves, which used Marshall, now used Skye instead to avoid confusion.
    • Finally, two Ultimate Rescue episodes ("Pups Save The Royal Kitties" and "Pups Stop A Meltdown; Pups And The Mystery of the Missing Cellphones") were pulled from rotation because in the episodes, the other pups become police officers like Chase.
  • One of the reasons that the Rugrats episode "Vacation" has rarely aired since 2003 is because it contains a scene in which Expys of Siegfeld and Roy are attacked by tigers.

  • The Onion:
  • After the Virginia Tech shooting, many colleges cracked down on the game Humans vs. Zombies for this reason, either banning it outright or banning the use of Nerf guns. Even today, several years later, some schools are still squeamish about the game.
  • The British Sunday papers were caught badly on the wrong foot about reporting the death of Princess Diana, because it occurred very late on a Saturday night. The most the tabloids could do was to replace their original front pages hastily with respectful coverage of what was known about the tragedy. The inside pages, including opinion pieces written earlier in the week, reflected the previous orthodoxy about Diana: that she was a dumb blonde who intended to bring down the Royal Family with the maximum embarrassment and was most likely going to present them with a half-Arab sibling for William and Harry. The complaints caused much embarrassment among hacks, but the Stalinist revision made by the papers after her death was probably the most noteworthy thing.
  • One of Mardi Gras events of Alabama, Order of Isis was retitled for 2015, obviously due to the rise in fame of the terrorist group of the same name.
  • The blockbuster comedy album The First Family and its sequel were yanked from shelves after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The producers even destroyed all the unsold copies, as they didn't want to be seen as "cashing in" on such a horrific tragedy. Because of this, original copies of the sequel are now highly valued collector's items.
  • British retailer Marks & Spencer renamed their Isis perfume into Aqua, for obvious reasons.
  • On February 14, 2018, around the same time as the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, FL was taking place, the NRA posted a tweet for Valentine's Day saying "Buy your loved one a gun". The tweet was soon deleted in response to the tragedy.
  • In 2002, German consumer engineering conglomerate Siemens - Bosch proposed to revive a tradename which had not been used in Germany for over fifty years and which had fallen from use with nobody hurrying to pick it up. They proposed to use the trademark Zyklon (Cyclone) for a range of consumer goods covering kitchen and domestic appliances - including their latest model Zyklon gas oven. They had to be reminded about the previous associations of the name - the Zyklon-B poison gas used in death camps by the Nazis - and were asked if attaching the name to a gas oven was all that inspired as a marketing strategy.
  • LEGO:
    • A Lego Architecture set depicting Las Vegas went unreleased as it featured the Mandalay Bay hotel, due to the 2017 Vegas shooting as the shooter fired from inside the hotel, and was replaced by a similar set that swapped Mandalay Bay for the Bellagio.
    • Lego asked stores to remove any marketing for Lego products that feature police, as well as a donut shop and the White House, after protests erupted in 2020 over the killing of George Floyd.


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