It was a day that will live in infamy.
During the March 29, 1992 airing of Road to Avonlea on the Family Hour, a Newswatch commercial previewed a salacious teaser on Montreal strippers and prostitutes. The incident occured during the third commercial break of the episode The Calamitous Courting of Hetty King and shocked Family Hour viewers.
According to the Gazette:
Viewers shouldn't have to watch strippers during the CBC Family Hour.
But they did a week ago. The third commercial break of Road to Avonlea included a sordid promotional spot for Newswatch, CBMT-6's evening newscast.
In voice-over, Newswatch anchor Dennis Trudeau told viewers that beginning Monday, the program's City Beat feature would focus on the sights and sounds of Ste. Catherine St. Clips of Montreal's garishly neon-lit main drag then cut to an interior scene.
A woman cavorted on the stage of a sleazy bar. She had turned her back to camera, offering a view that may have prompted strip-club habitues watching CBC Family Hour to observe "I don't know her name, but her fesses are familiar."
"Women who do the same old grind," Trudeau sneered, as the promo cut to a street prostitute plying her trade at curbside, "and some who bring traffic to a grinding halt."
Bouncing buns and a purse-swinging hooker brought Road to Avonlea to an abrupt halt at our house as we dove for the remote-control clicker.
It was too late. Our young Family Hour fan had travelled from the sun-splashed Road to Avonlea down the slippery slope to midnight on Rue Ste. Catherine.
Granted, the world in 1992 is not what Lucy Maud Montgomery might want it to be. But Family Hour is supposed to provide respite from grim reality. We didn't really want to spend Sunday evening explaining strip clubs and prostitution to a 6-year-old girl.
Mike Boone of the Gazette strongly argued that the commercial should have never aired during the Family Hour.
The commercial reminds me of another incident when the topic caused an uproar. This time the outrage happened in the early 2000's on an Avonlea related forum called 'Kindred Spirits of Avonlea.'
On one particular thread, several ladies started to humerously talk about pole dancing and were having fun with the exchange. The discussion was lively and amusing, but the forum owner felt the discussion was innapropriate and abruptly ended the party.
The forum was built with "Ezboard", a platform that no longer exists; and because the owner of Ezboard let the domain expire, it is no longer saved on the Internet Archive.
Do you think Avonlea fans overreacted like prudes or do you think they had every right to be outraged by these incidents? Let me know in the comments below.
Taking a stripper off Family Hour commercials; [FINAL Edition]
MIKE BOONE. The Gazette. Montreal, Que.: Mar 29, 1992. pg. F.2