As hard as it is to break up with a beloved TV series, we’ve had to do it over and over again in recent years — and not because the content of the shows in question had changed but because backstage scandals had made it impossible to tune in any longer without feeling grossed out, guilty or both.
Will you ever again be able to watch Cliff Huxtable dispense fatherly advice on The Cosby Show without remembering that Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault? Has knowing the exact details of Joss Whedon’s “hostile and toxic work environments” forever changed the way you watch Buffy and Angel? Where do you draw the line when it comes to separating art from artist?
Sometimes a series is able to distance itself from its scandal and soldier on (a la Two and a Half Men, after it exchanged a “dangerously self-destructive” Charlie Sheen for Ashton Kutcher). But, once cast, the shadow of wrongdoing never goes away, not completely. Take it from any of the series included in the list below. In the wake of behind-the-scenes scandals, their once-golden legacies have been forever tarnished.
Review the shows and the litany of sins that wrecked them below, then hit the comments: Do you still enjoy any of these series the way you used to?