US TV is too gay: John Merrill sounds a lot like Mary Whitehouse

US TV is too gay: John Merrill sounds a lot like Mary Whitehouse July 17, 2019

WE heard it all before in the UK decades ago when the nation’s nanny – Mary Whitehouse, above, a deranged Christian who spawned the The National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association (now known as Mediawatch-UK) – waged a ceaseless war against broadcasters and playwrights whom she accused of dishing out ‘filth’. 

Now the late bigot’s words  are being parroted by Alabama’s Secretary of State and Republican US Senate candidate John Merrill who believes the America’s morality is being undermined by too much gayness on TV.

The foundational principles which we have grown up as a nation are no more. There’s no more TV shows like ‘Gunsmoke’ or ‘Bonanza’ or ‘The Virginian’ or ‘I Love Lucy’ or ‘Andy Griffith’ … people are too interested in homosexual activities. They’re too interested in the wife swap TV shows and the shows that are not morally uplifting. That’s the problem.

Image via YouTube

Asked by to  explain what he meant, the sour-faced Merrill, above, said:

I meant what I said. People are too interested in anything that is not uplifting, edifying. They’re too busy being preoccupied with homosexual activities and the wife swap shows

He declined to give examples of how Americans are too preoccupied with “homosexual activities”.

Merrill said there are no longer shows:

That are based on biblical foundations. …Shows that promote family and culture with a father, a mother and children based on biblical teachings and biblical principles on which our nation was founded.

See Born of Mary.

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  • Milo C

    Someone should tell him how controversial I Love Lucy was. It was the first sitcom where the couple slept in the same bed; an interracial couple.

  • phatkhat

    Desi Arnaz was Cuban, but pretty white. He looked more Spanish than anything. Not that that was a good thing in the 50s. But, yes, the one bed. I’d forgotten that. And Lucy was pretty cheeky. She and Ethel were pretty uppity and got into a lot of mischief.

    The implication in Gunsmoke, of course, was that Miss Kitty kept the local brothel as well as the saloon.

    I recently saw, in some waiting room somewhere, a rerun of an Andy Griffith Show. I can see why Merrill liked it. It absolutely DRIPPED misogyny.

    None of those shows are particularly “Christian”, if you ask me. And Merrill looks like he is a sad and miserable person. The ONLY people preoccupied with gay sex are Christians. The rest of us don’t really care.

  • larry parker
  • Milo C

    Good to know. Perhaps I Love Lucy was only one of the first.

  • larry parker

    Still wrong. From the article I linked: “Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, who were married in real life and portrayed a married couple on the most popular show of television’s early years, I Love Lucy (1951-57), were depicted as sleeping in separate beds.”

  • Milo C

    You could have said that the first time. I guess I mis-attributed it.

  • Delta

    Well, according to Christians like Merrill, any show that’s dripping with paternalistic misogyny IS highly Christian.

  • Michael Neville

    Merrill is whining that the US isn’t still in the 1950s and 60s. Whitehouse made similar whines about Britain.

  • persephone

    It was a huge deal that Lucille Ball appeared on the show obviously pregnant.

  • There’s another way to describe shows and movies that are “…uplifting, edifying…”, and that’s “…boring, stultifying…”.

  • persephone

    Pretty much none of those shows were about nuclear families with SAHMs.

    Gunsmoke: unmarried U.S. Marshal hangs out with local madam.

    Bonanza: unmarried men on a big ranch.

    The Virginian: Most of the characters were unmarried men.

    I Love Lucy: Lucille Ball was openly pregnant on the show; she and Ricky, and Fred and Ethel, two married couples regularly argued and called each other names and undermined the spouses.

    The Andy Griffith Show: widowed sheriff who dates on occasion (did he ever get married?).

    Not what I’d say fit his criteria. Although they seem to be much happier with people going around and shooting each other than kissing.

  • B.A.

    And she wasn’t allowed to even say the word “pregnant”,per the censors in those days. She was to say “expecting”.

  • Ann Kah

    While visiting my in-laws, my sister-in-law talked us into turning on “little house on the prairie” because it had such “heartwarming” stories. I told her I was an adult, and didn’t DO heartwarming.

  • al kimeea

    Hey you, Whitehouse,
    Ha ha charade you are.
    You house proud town mouse,
    Ha ha charade you are
    You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street.
    You’re nearly a real treat,
    All tight lips and cold feet
    And do you feel abused?
    …..! …..! …..! …..!
    You gotta stem the evil tide,
    And keep it all on the inside.
    Mary you’re nearly a treat,
    Mary you’re nearly a treat
    But you’re really a cry.

    – Roger Waters

  • WallofSleep

    I’ll agree that American television is “too g a y”, provided we’re using the teen lingo of the 80’s in which “g a y” means “totally lame/boring”.

    With the major networks prime time slots being dominated nearly every night of the week with ‘reality t.v. or lazy reboots of daytime game shows from the 80’s, there is little to recommend for someone with half a brain.

  • Jennny

    Yes, what is it about human nature that makes us see the past through rose-tinted spectacles? I read that folk commonly look back to a period, usually 40 years before as the best of times. And why are some humans so afraid of, and negative about change? I expect right back when the wheel was first invented, detractors said either it would never catch on, or it was evil, god had given men muscles for moving heavy objects! I for one am pleased to be alive now, had I had the serious illness I’ve recently recovered from, 50yrs ago, I would not have survived as there were no cures then.

  • barriejohn

    … people are too interested in homosexual activities.

    Yes; evangelical Christians, mainly.

  • barriejohn

    PS Mary Whitehouse confesses to watching “dirty programmes” with her family!

  • Broga

    I have never seen “I love Lucy” or Andy Grifith but I remember “The Virginian” with pleasure. I watched the recent re-runs. Merrill is seriously unhinged. Shallow, ignorant and bloody nuts. Why would hetero sexuals or any other kind of sexuals be “too interested in homosexuals activities.” He sounds like a religious creep with a fragile grip on his own sexuality.

    “Gunsmoke” sounds like my kind of programme. I’m sorry I missed that..

    Mary Whitehouse, as a duty forced herself to watch sexually explicit programmes and films . That’s having your cake and eating it. I think they named a pornographic magazine in her honour. These busybodies just can’t get on with their own lives and stop telling the rest of us how to behave.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    It’s a psychological thing. It’s not just “40 years ago”, it’s whenever you were 15-25.
    The music that sticks with you is the music you listened to when you were 15-25.
    The TV shows were better then.
    Politics was better then.
    Even food was better then.
    Those are your “formative” years, in some respects.
    It’s not inescapable, but those are the tendencies.

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    The rose coloured specks are out again. Those programmes where violent problems where sorted out with either a brawl or a gunfight. They where America giving a make over to there own history. The little house on the pararie was again a sanitised remake of a bit of history.

  • barriejohn

    And a TV comedy series: The Mary Whitehouse Experience”!

  • Carstonio

    US readers may know about Mary Whitehouse only from Monty Python, one of the targets of her attacks. The group’s Tory Housewives sketch condemns her mentality, pointing out the various types of bigotry involved.


  • Carstonio

    It’s no coincidence that, with exceptions like Lucy’s husband, the shows either had all-white principal cast members or kept the non-white ones in subservient roles.

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    They’re too interested in the wife swap TV shows

    Is that even still on?

  • barriejohn

    I believe I’m right in saying that the first American comedy series to air on British television was Amos ‘n’ Andy. Although I was very young at the time, I was aware that this show portrayed black Americans in a very poor light (though I was equally appalled by the story book Little Black Sambo which we were given to read at school!). Amos ‘n’ Andy started life as an American radio series voiced by white actors, and the black actors were actually asked to emulate their “Black American” intonation, which made the show more of a parody than a comedy. Jack Benny’s “Rochester” turned the tables somewhat by always appearing smarter than his “boss”, but he was till the manservant. He used to play up to this image, as he visited Jack Benny regularly at his home in Beverly Hills (not gated in those days!) for script readings, etc, and would sit on the porch drinking milk from one of the bottles that had been delivered and wave to the coachloads of sightseers who passed by, who fondly imagined that he really WAS Benny’s valet! Jack Benny and his entire entourage walked out of one hotel in New York when there was an objection to “Rochester” staying there. More here:

  • Carstonio

    Halloween is about making fun of the things that normally scare us. Amos ‘n’ Andy and blackface are about the same thing in a racist way. The core purpose of the show, whether or not the people involved recognized it, was to enable whites who were scared of black men to laugh at them instead.

    Rochester was not much different in principle from Our Miss Brooks from the same period. She and the other women were often smarter than the men in charge, but the hierarchy of the time required them to accomplish their goals through subterfuge, making the men think it was their idea. For that period, the idea of blacks and whites interacting as equals, or women and men doing the same, would have been radical.

  • Carstonio

    I’ve never seen a full episode of Andy Griffith. What misogyny did you notice? The modern standard is Duck Dynasty, where I saw one episode and that was enough – the men treat the women in the family as spoiled, materialistic scolds.

  • phatkhat

    The males in Mayberry, including the bumbling deputy, treated women like brainless bimbos.

  • He doesn’t remember Perry Mason? Really cosmopolitan show! And soap operas were around on radio before even television!

  • rubaxter

    Golly, so people are no longer interested in cartoon characters KILLING people, KILLING Injuns, KILLING more people, acting like childish woman-fools, or abiding drunks and other lusers in a pure white, “There’s a reason small towns are small”, small town anymore?

    As I recall, these fools can watch The Game Show Channel, or The Goober Channel, or The Religious Con-Man Channel while clutching their pearls.