Skip Nav

Scandalous TV Firsts

5 Scandalous Television Firsts

Diablo Cody interviewed Justin Bateman in her Red Brand Trailer series, and we learned he had a TV first back in the '80s. His character on The Hogan Family (also known for reasons that have something to do with getting a new mom as Valerie's Family) was the first to talk about birth control and say the word condom on prime-time television.

The video now seems to be private, so here are five other TV firsts to remember until you can watch.

  1. Interracial kiss: Who knew Star Trek pushed sexual boundaries much less racial? Probably anyone over 40. Star Trek's multicultural cast raised eyebrows when the show premiered in 1966, but it paved the way for other shows to do the same. In November 1968, it sparked more controversy with the first interracial kiss between Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols).
  2. Same-sex kiss: The first same-sex kiss didn't come for another 25 years. In 1991 two female lawyers kissed on LA Law — long before women started kissing at award shows. Though complaints were filed to ABC and five advertisers pulled out, other shows — Party of Five, Ally McBeal, and Roseanne — quickly followed.
  3. Abortion: Bea Arthur played the first character to have an abortion on the sitcom Maude in the euphemistically titled episode "Maude's Dilemma." Yet she was not some young girl in a bind: Maude was a 47-year-old "liberal" on her fourth husband. The episode aired two months before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1972.

Read the rest below.

  1. Rape scene: The made-for-TV movie Born Innocent owns the distinction for not just the first rape scene in 1974, but the first — maybe last? — all-girl rape scene on network (NBC) TV. The scene was only made more controversial by the fact the victim and perpetrators were all teenagers, and the scene was deleted from subsequent airings. Not at all surprisingly, it led to the creation of family-viewing hours.
  2. Reoccurring gay character: Before there was Jack McFarland on Will and Grace, there was Jodie Dallas (Billy Crystal) on Soap in 1977; though, America had to wait until the '80s to see the first gay couple in bed on Thirtysomething.

Latest Love
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Order our POPSUGAR Must Have box now >>