The Controversial Scene that took ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ off the Air

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“The Beverly Hillbillies,” a classic American sitcom that aired from 1962 to 1971, captured the hearts of millions with its humor and portrayal of the Clampett family’s fish-out-of-water adventures after striking oil and moving to Beverly Hills. However, amidst its success, there was one controversial scene that caused a stir and ultimately led to the show’s removal from the airwaves.

In the episode titled “The Giant Jackrabbit,” which aired on January 8, 1964, the Clampett family encounters a jackrabbit while hunting. Granny, played by Irene Ryan, mistakes the jackrabbit for a “critter” and decides to cook it for dinner. The scene unfolds with Granny preparing the rabbit, unaware of its true identity until the truth is revealed by a neighbor, Mr. Drysdale.

The controversy arose not from the scene itself, but from the reaction it elicited from animal rights activists and concerned viewers. Many viewers were outraged by the depiction of the rabbit’s fate and the perceived insensitivity towards animal welfare. The scene sparked heated debates and garnered negative publicity for the show.

The controversy reached its peak when several animal rights organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, launched campaigns urging CBS to remove the episode from the air and adopt stricter guidelines for animal-related content in television programs.

In response to the public outcry, CBS made the decision to pull the episode from syndication and future airings. Additionally, the network implemented new policies regarding the depiction of animals in television shows to prevent similar controversies in the future.

The removal of “The Giant Jackrabbit” episode had a significant impact on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” While the show continued to enjoy high ratings and popularity throughout its run, the incident served as a reminder of the power of public opinion and the need for sensitivity towards social issues, including animal welfare.

Despite the controversy, “The Beverly Hillbillies” remains a beloved classic that has left an indelible mark on American television history. While the show may be remembered for its humor and memorable characters, the controversy surrounding “The Giant Jackrabbit” episode serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of ethical considerations in entertainment media.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGkVMSdD7tw


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