From Star Trek to Modern Family

Has the world lost sight of what to say?

Gregory Garofalo
Managing Editor

In today’s entertainment media there has always been one constant that has traveled from print to television: boundaries must be pushed.
This can clearly be seen in early American works such as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” or Thomas Payne’s “Common Sense;” works of literature going against the status quo. As the decades and centuries’ progress and sensitive buttons continue to be pressed, the question is raised: has the point been lost?
Rewind the clocks back to the 1950’s. A breakthrough in mass media is marketed to the public, the television. With only about five to ten years of a quaint “Howdy Doody” world, it wasn’t long before television would start challenging the way the world worked. And in 1963, “Star Trek” was born.
The cult classic had a short three year run, but in that time it stirred up thought about religion, sex, and racism. In 1968, “Star Trek” gave the world its first on screen interracial kiss between black and white.
While science fiction held the record for first interracial kiss on television, it would be comedy that took the award for the first interracial couple. “The Jeffersons” famous spin off series of “All in the Family” picked up where its predecessor left off and spoke on controversial issues such as diversity and equality.
As the years went on, boundaries were continuously pushed with sexuality and language. The original drive for pushing the boundaries of racial equality and civil rights seemed to be getting lost in the consumer demand for vulgarity.
Even the controversial homosexual rights in the 1990s seem to get swept up in an odd mix between raunchy lesbian sex scenes and actual statement gay and lesbian characters.
Today there is a slew of controversial content just as there always has been. But what kind of a statement is a naked Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball? Is the world out of things to say, or has it just lost sight of voicing opinion in a vulgarity battle to outdo previous generations.

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