Censorship Timeline -- Pedro Ramirez


1907 -- Chicago


Chicago enacts the first movie censorship law in America. Cities and states around the nation create local censorships boards in the following years, resulting in a variety of different rules and standards

1942 -- Tweety forced to wear clothes


Tweety Bird first appears in "A Tale of Two Kitties." Animator Bob Clampett drew her without feathers but the Hays Office censorship bureau thought that she was just a little too naked. So Clampett covers Tweety's titillating flesh with yellow plumage.

Clampett doesn't let this pass quietly.

1952 -- Lucy gets pregnant


Durring Lucille Ball's pregnancy during an entire season of "I Love Lucy," the actual word "pregnant" isn't allowed on air. Instead, the writers came up with phrases equal to the word.

1956 -- Billie Holiday


A banner year for censoring music from radio. ABC radio bans from all of its network affiliates Billie Holiday's song "Love For Sale" because of its prostitution theme.

1956 -- Elvis' pelvis shoved off screen


Elvis' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" is seen by 60 million people His famous pelvis, however, isn't so lucky. After his cover of a Little Richard song -- complete with trademark pelvis -- the camera switches to a close-up of his face as not to over-stimulate the American public. By January of 1957 he is only shown from the wast up.

1959 -- Advertisers rewrite history


On the dramatic anthology series "Playhouse 90," an episode titled "Judgment at Nuremberg" has all references to gas chambers eliminated from its re-enactment of the Nazi trials. This is done at the behest of the show's slightly sensitive sponsor, the American Gas Association.

1960 -- Alfred Hitchcock recut his new film Psycho


The American Motion Pictures Producers Association requests that Alfred Hitchcock recut his new film Psycho for classification

1974 -- Texas Chainsaw


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is released. It has come to be representative of the extreme horror film.

1990 - 2000's

1990 -- X-Rating


The X-rating is replaced by NC-17 to differentiate art film from pornography. Nonetheless, religious activists pressure large video chains and retailers, such as Blockbuster and Wal-Mart, not to stock NC-17 titles.

1990 -- Judas Priest


Metal band Judas Priest is sued by the family of two young men. The families contend that “hidden” messages in the band’s “Stained Class” record prompted the youngsters to beat and choke one of their mothers, walk around town exposing themselves, and steal money.

2004 -- South Park


Comedy Central prevents "South Park" from using the image of the Prophet Muhammad in the episode "Cartoon Wars."

2004 -- Accidental Peek


Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during Super Bowl XXXVIII.

FCC fines levied on CBS: $550,000
Cost to NFL (in sponsor refunds): $10 million
Ranking among 2004 Internet searches: 1
Ranking in TiVo's "most rewound moments": 1
Number of American complaints to network: more than 500,000
Number of Canadian complaints: about 50

300 BC - 1900'S

340 BC

340 BC

Aristotle calls for the literal censoring of a new style of music gaining popularity in Athens.He claims it excites people's emotions with its uncontrolled rhythms.

1554 -- Spain


The first of a new style of novel, the 'picaresque', is published in Spain by an anonymous author. La Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y sus Fortunas y Adversidades is placed on Pius IV's list of banned books, for immorality and anti-clerical statements.

1801 -- French Book

1801 - 1960

French government forces arrest the Marquis de Sade at the house of his publisher. Copies of the notorious Justine, ou les Malheurs de la Vertu, published in 1791, are also seized. This book remained banned in France, certainly into the 1960s. The works of this author have, as a rule, been a mainstay of the debate on censorship since they were first published.