TLC Has A History Of Making Shows That Are Equally Controversial As They Are Bizarre

Back when the network now known as TLC premiered in the early-70s, it was then known as The Learning Channel and focused on educational programming that could be very dry. Then, in the late-90s, all of that changed as TLC embraced the tagline “Life Unscripted” by airing a slew of “reality” shows that focused on people in extreme situations.



Related: 10 Of Our Favorite TLC Shows Of All Time (5 We Wish Never Existed)

Since TLC became all about “reality” TV, the network has become quite controversial. After all, some people are upset by the rules TLC makes its stars follow and others feel like many of the people who appear on the network are exploited. On top of all that, there is no doubt that TLC has aired several shows that were both bizarre and controversial.

7 Why Buying N*ked Was Controversial And Bizarre

A short-lived show that aired on TLC in 2013 and 2014, Buying Naked focused on a real estate agent named Jackie Youngblood as she tried to sell homes to her nudist clients. Of course, it likely won’t surprise anyone that TLC airing a show that featured people in the buff during each episode upset many observers. On top of that, the show was truly strange based on its core premise and the fact that it often featured shots in which random props were put in place to obscure parts of peoples’ bodies.

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6 Why Dr. Pimple Popper Is Controversial And Bizarre

Before Dr. Pimple Popper premiered on TLC in 2018, the show’s star Dr. Sandra Lee had already developed a large base of fans on YouTube. Even when Lee’s exploits could only be seen on YouTube, some people who stumbled across her content were disgusted. As a result, when a major network aired footage of her popping pimples, that fact left some TLC fans shocked and appalled. Still, since Lee legitimately is a doctor, she shouldn’t have been too controversial. At least that was the case before Lee was inundated with criticism based on a 2020 tweet. When a registered nurse penned an article for WebMD explaining the difference between sun poisoning and sunburns, Lee tweeted that a dermatologist should have tackled the subject instead. In response to Lee’s tweet, many nurses called her out for disrespecting their profession and knowledge.

Related: How Much Is ‘Dr. Pimple Popper’ Sandra Lee Worth?

5 Why Sister Wives Was Controversial And Bizarre

In all fifty American states, polygamy is explicitly illegal even if it is a crime that isn’t prosecuted most of the time unless practitioners are accused of other misdeeds. With that in mind, you’d think that TLC wouldn’t want to air a show with stars who’ve stated that they want to normalize a crime. Despite that, sixteen seasons of Sister Wives have aired to date, much to the disgust of many people who feel that polygamy is wrong. On top of that, many former fans have come to be disgusted by Sister Wives for another reason. For the last several seasons, it has become clear that star Kody Brown is only dedicated to one of his so-called wives which has left the show often feeling sad.


4 Why My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding Was Controversial And Bizarre

Throughout history, Romani people all over the world have often been forced to deal with extreme prejudice that at times has been dangerous to their lives. Often derisively labeled gypsies, Romani people have often been otherized in ways that have made it difficult for them to make their way in the world. With all of that in mind, it is truly troubling that TLC aired My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding and its spin-off Gypsy Sisters since both shows made Romani people look ridiculous. If that wasn’t bad enough, many viewers suspect that one My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding storyline was fake. If that was the case, the idea that the show made up a storyline to make Romani people looks as ridiculous as possible is truly troubling.

Related: 15 Lies ‘My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding’ Told Their Viewers

3 Why D.U.I. Was Controversial And Bizarre

In this day and age, it often seems like virtually everyone dreams of being famous someday. As a result, there is no doubt that an ever-increasing group of people are willing to go to extremes to gain notoriety, even if the attention they gain makes them look awful. With that in mind, the idea that TLC aired the show D.U.I. looks like a really bad decision. Similar to the show Cops, D.U.I. features footage of police officers arresting people who are under the influence. Instead of leaving things there, D.U.I. then follows the people who were arrested as they face trial. As a result, the fact that D.U.I. gave attention to people who were arrested for committing a crime that puts everyone around them at severe risk deeply troubled many observers.


2 Why 19 Kids and Counting Was Controversial And Bizarre

Over the last several years, the Duggar family has been involved in several controversies that are about as disturbing as possible. For that reason, at this point, there is no doubt that the show 19 Kids & Counting will go down in history as one of the most controversial “reality” shows of all time. However, given the seriousness and number of Duggar family scandals that have come to light, it is easy to forget that their show was controversial from the start. Back when the Duggar’s show was known as 17 Kids & Counting, many people had serious issues with the show’s stars due to their stances on the LGBTQ+ community and accusations of sexism.

1 Why Toddlers & Tiaras Was Controversial And Bizarre

Of all the shows that TLC has aired over the years, it is pretty clear that Toddlers & Tiaras is the one that upset the most people by far. Focused on children that take part in pageants, many people felt that the show featured footage of children being put in a situation that is very unhealthy for them and wildly oversexualized. For that reason, many people strongly believe that child pageants should be a thing of the past. On top of that, the fact that the spin-off show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo got wrapped up in controversies related to abuse only made Toddlers & Tiaras look even worse.

Next: 20 Disturbing Facts About Toddlers And Tiaras

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