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Does a Dose of Controversy Help An Animated TV Show?

Animation Scoop By Charles Kenny | http://animationanomaly.com June 3, 2013 at 12:01AM

When all is said and done, does controversy help or hinder a series? Do controversial shows really have an edge when it comes to their success?
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Shezow purple image

This past week there was a bit of a hubbub surrounding the latest show to be broadcast on The Hub. Entitled SheZow, it revolves around a 12 year old boy named Guy who acquires superhero powers that also have the effect of turning him into a girl.

The show has been broadcast in the home states of the production companies (Australia and Canada) without incident, but in the week prior to its US premiere, concerns were raised regarding the nature of the show's content.

This (naturally) raised the show's profile even further (what's known as the Streisand Effect) and led to the Hub releasing the first episode online for free to potentially aid parents in their decision-making.

When all is said and done though, did the controversy help or hinder the show? Do controversial shows really have an edge when it comes to their success?

Looking back at The Simpsons and the controversy hoops that that show went through in its early years, they clearly did it no harm at all. In fact, the show went above and beyond by actively poking fun at their detractors and engaging with them too. Two Bad Neighbors remains a favourite of fans a critics alike and a highwater mark of animated political satire.

On another level, SpongeBob Squarepants has been on the receiving end of criticism multiple times for supposedly indoctrinating kids with immoral messages. That show too, has suffered no ill-effects and continues to make billions for Viacom. 

It's understandable that once a show becomes a hit, there can be plethora of voices clamoring to bring it down for all sorts of reasons. However, given that a show like SheZow with next to no broadcast history in a country can be a target based on its premise alone, is the attention paid to it a good thing, or ultimately a scar and detriment to its long term success?


Charles Kenny writes prolifically on his own blog, The Animation Anomaly.


This article is related to: SheZow

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