24 Entertainment Choices from the 2000s That Would Be Deemed Too Risky Now

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The landscape of entertainment has evolved significantly over the past two decades. What kept audiences hooked in the 2000s might not fly in today’s more sensitive and socially aware climate. From TV shows to movies, video games to music, here are 24 entertainment choices from the 2000s that would be deemed too risky or controversial today.

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The TV series “Jackass” pushed boundaries with its extreme pranks and dangerous stunts, captivating audiences with its wild antics. However, in today’s entertainment landscape, concerns about safety, liability, and the potential influence on impressionable viewers would likely prevent a show like this from being greenlit. 

The Jerry Springer Show

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“The Jerry Springer Show” was notorious for its outrageous confrontations and shocking revelations, drawing in viewers with its sensationalism. However, in today’s era of cancel culture and heightened sensitivity, the show’s emphasis on conflict and exploitation may be viewed as detrimental and irresponsible. 

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” stirred up controversy with its graphic violence, sexual content, and portrayal of crime, pushing the boundaries of acceptability in video games. However, in today’s gaming industry, where social responsibility and ethical considerations are paramount, such content would face intense scrutiny and criticism. 


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Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary film “Borat” pushed the boundaries of satire and humor, often at the expense of unsuspecting participants. However, in today’s climate of heightened political correctness and sensitivity to cultural stereotypes, the film’s portrayal of controversial subjects may be viewed as offensive and insensitive. 

South Park

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“South Park” gained notoriety for its crude humor, irreverent satire, and provocative social commentary, attracting a dedicated fan base while sparking controversy. Today, the show’s controversial content would likely face more significant backlash and calls for censorship. The evolving standards for acceptable discourse and the increased emphasis on inclusivity and sensitivity would make it challenging for a show like “South Park” to achieve the same level of success.

Girls Gone Wild

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The “Girls Gone Wild” series capitalized on the allure of young women baring it all during spring break festivities, becoming a cultural phenomenon in the 2000s. However, today, awareness around issues of consent, objectification, and the promotion of harmful stereotypes would mean the concept would likely be met with widespread criticism. 

The Osbournes

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“The Osbournes” reality TV show provided a glimpse into the chaotic lives of Ozzy Osbourne and his family, attracting viewers with its candid portrayal of celebrity dysfunction. Today, greater awareness around issues of substance abuse and mental health could mean that the show’s depiction of these struggles may be viewed with more concern and sensitivity. 

Eminem’s Lyrics

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Eminem’s provocative and often controversial lyrics sparked debates about free speech and censorship in the 2000s. Today, his misogynistic, homophobic lyrics just wouldn’t fly. His lyrics would likely face greater condemnation and calls for accountability would drown out the volume of his music.

American Pie

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The teen comedy “American Pie” movie series was filled with raunchy humor and sexual escapades emblematic of the early 2000s. However, in today’s climate of greater awareness around issues of consent, respect, and the portrayal of healthy relationships, the film’s depiction of sex and sexuality may be viewed as problematic and outdated. 

The Simple Life

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“The Simple Life” reality TV show starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie showcased their privileged antics as they navigated life in rural America, satiating the nation’s voyeuristic cravings. However, in today’s era of growing income inequality and heightened awareness around privilege and social justice issues, the show’s depiction of wealth and privilege may be viewed with more scrutiny and criticism. 

Shock Value Reality Shows

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Reality shows like “Fear Factor” thrived in the 2000s by subjecting contestants to extreme challenges and stunts for entertainment. However, in today’s era of heightened concern for mental and physical well-being, such shows would likely be deemed too exploitative and irresponsible. 

Celebrity Roasts

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Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts were known for their crude jokes and personal jabs at the expense of the honoree, providing audiences with a raucous evening of entertainment. However, in today’s era of greater sensitivity and awareness around issues of respect and inclusivity, such roasts would likely be met with backlash and criticism. 

MTV’s Spring Break Coverage

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MTV’s annual coverage of spring break parties and festivities was a cultural phenomenon in the 2000s, attracting viewers with its wild and uninhibited atmosphere. However, in today’s era of increased awareness around alcohol-related harm, consent, and responsible behavior, the coverage might be seen as promoting risky and potentially harmful behavior. 

The Howard Stern Show

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“The Howard Stern Show” was known for its explicit content and boundary-pushing humor, attracting a dedicated audience with shock-jock antics. In today’s more politically correct climate, Stern’s brand of humor would likely be deemed too offensive and insensitive. 

Reality Dating Shows

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Reality dating shows like “Flavor of Love” and “The Bachelor” thrived in the 2000s with their over-the-top drama and questionable relationship dynamics. In today’s era of increased awareness around issues of authenticity and consent, such shows would likely face greater scrutiny and criticism.

Music Videos with Explicit Content

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Many music videos from the 2000s featured explicit content, including sexual imagery and provocative themes, pushing the boundaries of acceptability in mainstream media. Today, such videos might be deemed too risqué and objectifying. 

Girls, Girls, Girls Culture

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The early 2000s saw a lot of media celebrating the “girls, girls, girls” lifestyle, often glamorizing partying, excess, and objectification of women. Today, with increased awareness around issues of gender equality and the promotion of positive body image, such media might be seen as perpetuating harmful stereotypes and unhealthy behaviors. 

The Man Show

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“The Man Show” was a comedy series celebrating male stereotypes and crude humor, appealing to a predominantly male audience. However, as awareness around issues of toxic masculinity and gender equality has increased, the show’s premise would likely be viewed as outdated and offensive.

Lindsay Lohan’s Wild Years

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The media frenzy surrounding Lindsay Lohan’s party lifestyle and legal troubles was emblematic of the celebrity culture in the 2000s, with tabloids fueling speculation and sensationalism. Today, the concerns around mental health and the negative impact of media scrutiny on individuals, such as coverage, would likely be viewed as exploitative and harmful. 

Reality TV Exploitation

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Many reality TV shows in the 2000s thrived on exploiting their participants’ personal lives and vulnerabilities for entertainment, often at the expense of their well-being. However, in today’s era of increased awareness around issues of ethics and consent, such exploitation would likely be met with widespread condemnation and calls for accountability. 

Humor Based on Stereotypes

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Much of the humor in the 2000s relied on stereotypes based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, often perpetuating harmful and offensive tropes. In today’s more socially aware climate, such humor is likely inappropriate and offensive. 

Viral Challenges

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The 2000s saw the rise of viral challenges like the Cinnamon Challenge and the Tide Pod Challenge, which encouraged participants to engage in dangerous and potentially harmful activities for internet fame. Today, social media platforms are more vigilant about removing dangerous content and promoting safety. 

Celebrity Meltdowns

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The tabloid fascination with celebrity meltdowns and scandals was rampant in the 2000s, with media outlets sensationalizing and exploiting the personal struggles of public figures. Today, such coverage would likely be viewed as intrusive and harmful. 

Shock Advertising

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Advertisements in the 2000s often relied on shock value to grab attention, sometimes crossing the line into offensive or controversial territory. Today, shock advertising would likely be met with backlash and criticism. 

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