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40 Public Controversies You Probably Didn’t Know About –

 

 

1 Timmy Burch


Comedy Central originally wanted to remove Timmy Burch from South Park due to the potential controversy over the inclusion of a mentally handicapped character. Matt Stone and Trey Parker pushed to keep the character on the basis that other children in the series treat him equally.

 

2. There was some controversy over the inclusion of Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ on the Voyager Golden Record. Carl Sagan was told that rock music was adolescent. Sagan responded, “There are a lot of adolescents on the planet.”

 

3. The German supermarket chain ‘Lidl’ has been involved in over 20 controversies, such as putting additives in meat to avoid salmonella testing, unauthorized surveillance of its employees. They were also awarded ‘The Big Brother’ award for acting almost like slave masters towards its employees.

4. Jerry Lee Lewis courted so much controversy by marrying his 13-year-old cousin at the age of 22 that he went from playing $10,000 concert halls to $250 a night dive bars.

 

5. The Guns N’ Roses hit song Sweet Child o’ Mine came under controversy in 2015 when a very similar sounding track by a lesser known Australian rock band was discovered to have been released six years prior. Upon hearing the song, Guns N’ Roses’s bassist, Duff McKagan, called the similarities “stunning.”

6 Teen Talk Barbie


The Teen Talk Barbie’s quip “math class is tough” generated controversy among educators who feared it contributed to negative gender stereotypes. It also inspired The Simpsons episode “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy.”

 

7. There was controversy in 1930 surrounding someone because they were paid more than the president. That person was Babe Ruth, and the amount was $80,000.

 

8. When NOFX bassist Fat Mike caused controversy by elbowing and kicking a fan, he publicly apologized by buying him a beer and letting him kick him back.

9. A double-headed baby who lived a hundred years ago in Europe provided the solution to the age old scientific controversy of whether we sleep because our bodies were tired or was it the brain that got tired? As the baby’s head slept at different times, it proved that it was the brain.

 

10. In 1997, Mattel released ‘Share-A-Smile Becky’ Barbie doll, who was disabled and came with a wheelchair. However, the doll instead created controversy when it was pointed out that the Barbie-Dream-House was not wheelchair accessible and could not accommodate Becky’s needs.

11 Gerald Ford

President Gerald Ford faced controversy for wearing a digital watch, an expensive high-tech device in the 1970s.

 

12. Trijicon, a firearm optics company, secretly hid Bible verse references in serial numbers of scopes mass purchased by the US Armed Forces (such as “ACOG4X32JN8:12″ referencing John 8:12—”I am the light of the world”). This controversy spawned the nickname “Jesus rifles.”

13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK because of controversy surrounding ninjas and related weapons such as nunchaku at the time.

 

14. In 2006, Autism Speaks released a documentary, “Autism Everyday” which caused controversy because a mother talked about how she contemplated murdering her Autistic daughter and herself.

 

15. A flight simulator game named “SimCopter” gained controversy when it was discovered that a designer had inserted an easter egg that generated shirtless “himbos” (male bimbos) in Speedo trunks who hugged and kissed each other and appear in great numbers on certain dates, such as Friday the 13th. Their fluorescent nipples were drawn with a special rendering mode usually reserved for fog-piercing runway landing lights, so they could easily be seen from long distances in bad weather. The egg caused hundreds of himbos to swarm and crowd around the helicopter, where they would be slashed up by the blades, and then needed to be air-lifted to the hospital—which earned the player easy money.

16 Possum-tossing contest


In 2010, Colyton School in New Zealand generated controversy over a possum-tossing contest. Students would shoot the possums (an invasive pest in New Zealand) and then see how far they could chuck the marsupial’s carcasses.

 

17. During a game on March 11, 2007, former NBA player Scot Pollard created a minor controversy when he looked into the camera during a 20-second timeout and said: “Hey kids, do drugs.” The light on top of the camera was not working. Pollard said it to get a laugh out of the people in the media truck.

 

18. Back in the 4th season of The Simpsons, they were dragged into a controversy with one of its songs bashing New Orleans. The next week, a chalkboard gag was made saying “I will not defame New Orleans.”

19. The 1978 World Chess Championship was mired by a number of bizarre controversies involving hypnosis, mirror glasses, and blueberry yogurt.

 

20. The Rolling Stones’ record company mistakenly included a comma in the title for their single “Paint It Black” (Paint It, Black), leading to a controversy over its racial interpretation.

21 Uta Pippig


Uta Pippig became the first woman to cross the finish line during the 1996 Centennial Boston Marathon. Her win caused a great deal of controversy as she continued the race even after losing control of her bowels and beginning to menstruate.

 

22. The Vietnam Memorial was designed by Maya Lin, a 21-year-old Yale undergraduate. Once it was revealed that she was Asian a controversy arose, with Ross Perot calling her an “Egg Roll” and forcing Lin to defend her design in front of Congress.

23. In 1992, BBC released a horror mockumentary (Ghostwatch) on Halloween night that was presented as live television and caused a huge controversy because many people believed it was real and there were several case reports of people, mainly children, who suffered PTSD like effects from watching it.

 

24. Candy company Trolli introduced the “Roadkill Gummy candy”, a series of sweets shaped like flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels with track marks on their bodies. The product was pulled from stores due to controversy.

 

25. In 1993, a Canadian farmer named Robert Latimer sparked a national controversy on the ethics of euthanasia after killing his daughter Tracy who was suffering from severe mental and physical disabilities.

 

 

26 Wingdings font


The font “Wingdings” has been involved in 2 controversies, including one where if the user typed “NYC” the font would render “Skull”, “Star of David” (Jewish Star), and “Thumbs Up.”

 

27. The 2011 World Scrabble Championship descended into controversy when one player Chollapat Itthi-Aree demanded that another player Ed Martin be strip-searched into a restroom to check his skivvies for the missing letter-tile “G.”

28. “The Eisenhower Baseball Controversy” refers to a series of allegations that Dwight D. Eisenhower played minor league baseball under an alias prior to joining the United States Military Academy.

 

29. The characters known as “The Twins” from The Matrix Reloaded stirred controversy because they were seen as emblematic of Hollywood’s “negative portrayal of characters with albinism.”

 

30. From 1975 to 1977 Mattel produced a Barbie named “Growing Up Skipper” that grew breasts, a slimmer waist and grew an inch taller when you turned its left arm, which led to controversy over the sexualization of the doll.

31 Resistance: Fall of Man


The game Resistance: Fall of Man faced controversy from the Church of England due to it featuring the Manchester Cathedral as a battleground.

 

32. In response to the controversy over a scene in the music video The Bad Touch in which two gay men are beaten with baguettes, Jimmy Pop said: “I will give any gay man two tickets to the musical of his choice if he could describe exactly who’s going to become violent based on that scene.”

33. George Patton was involved in a controversy where he risked the lives of 300 men in a mission to liberate POW camp OFLAG XIII-B where his son-in-law John K. Waters was imprisoned.

 

34. In 2008, a Yale student named Aliza Shvarts created controversy by allegedly videotaping her own self-induced abortions and calling it ‘art.’

 

35. One of the earliest video game to cause controversy was Gotcha in 1973 over the controls being perceived as pink rubber bulges meant to represent breasts that were squeezed in order to control the action.

36 Sugar Daddy Ken doll

In 2009, Mattel released ‘Sugar Daddy Ken’ doll aimed at collectors. When faced with controversy and protest, Mattel claimed the name of the dog included in the playset was “Sugar”, thus making Ken “Sugar’s Daddy”.

 

37. Insertion of a beer bottle into the rectum of a Serbian farmer (Dorđe Martinovich) caused a major ethnic and political controversy in Serbia in 1985 and contributed to the collapse of Yugoslavia.

 

38. Since the release of ‘Captain Phillips’, there has been controversy over its portrayal of Phillips, with several crew members claiming that he was not the hero presented in the film and that he was at least partly at fault for an “insistence on being fast and making money.

 

39. Singer Sinead O’Connor revealed she was a victim of the Magdalene Laundries scandal. She caused worldwide controversy by tearing up a picture of the Pope on live television.

40. There is a gene that has been named sonic hedgehog. There is controversy regarding the naming of this gene due to situations where patients or parents of patients with a serious disorder are told that they or their child “have a mutation in their sonic hedgehog.”

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