Quitting a show for moral reasons

"If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching."

Those are not my words (even though I agree entirely; people should stop watching Two & A Half Men) but those of Angus T Jones, the half in the title of the show, who made the statement in a video released this week. It seems the young Mr Jones has converted to Christianity and had a change of heart on the show that earns him US$350,000 an episode. A few other choice cuts from the clip:

  • "I'm on Two and a Half Men and I don't want to be on it."
  • "Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it's just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you'll have a decision to make when it comes to television and especially with what you watch on television. It's bad news."
  • "You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't."
  • "I'm not OK with what I'm learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show."

While my thoughts on religion are probably not in line with what Jones believes, I have to respect a guy - anyone, really - who is willing to speak honestly about what they believe and make those beliefs public*. Still, as proven by his former cast mate Charlie Sheen, it's always entertaining when a TV star goes completely bananas. Especially if Chuck Lorre is prominently involved.

But Jones' words have made me wonder something else: like the junior star of that comedy, have you ever spoken out against, or quit watching, a show for moral reasons?

I don't think I have. At least, I don't think I've given up on a show I might otherwise have liked but for one tragic flaw.

For example, I wrote a few weeks ago about the content on Californication, though I left out the part about how I often struggle with the show - as funny as Evan Handler is when he describes why he has made the switch to old-fashioned pornography, I do tend to roll my eyes and wonder when the sexual content will start to get too much. Luckily there is plenty else in Californication to keep me watching. I haven't given up yet.

Usually it's a combination of factors. Like, I really disliked Mike & Molly because it relied so heavily on fat jokes (you can come to your own conclusions about how that relates to my own physical traits), but I also disliked it because it was just not funny. Same goes for Two & A Half Men and its tendency toward sexual innuendo masquerading as innocent humour. I could probably forgive the odd off-colour comment if the show was actually clever about it.

One show that I did give up on for moral reasons is 2 Broke Girls. Sure, the few episodes I saw weren't very funny, but I was mostly troubled by its reliance on racial stereotypes and rape humour, both of which reared their ugly heads multiple times over the course of the three half-hours I took in.

But what about you: have you ever given up on a show because of a moral stance? Are there any shows that you still enjoy, but which just don't sit right with you for one reason or another?

(*) It remains to be seen if Jones will quit the show. Stand by your beliefs, or keep accepting $350,000 a week to star in a show which, no matter how filthy or classless it may be, is still bringing joy to large numbers of people ... tough call.

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