MAS*H’s Controversial Episode That Never Aired
Introduction The iconic war comedy-drama series, MAS*H, graced television screens in 1972 and entertained viewers for a remarkable 11 years.
With an impressive total of 256 episodes, the show quickly became a cherished part of the CBS network, capturing the hearts of fans.
However, as time has passed, some episodes have come under scrutiny for their controversial content.
A Rejected Episode Within MAS*H’s extensive history, one particular episode, titled “Hawkeye on the Double,” stands out as so contentious that it never saw the light of day.
This script, featuring the character ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce, portrayed by Alan Alda, was denied approval by the network.
Hawkeye’s Two-Timing “Hawkeye on the Double” delved into a storyline where Hawkeye engaged in simultaneous romantic relationships with two nurses.
When the nurses uncovered his duplicity, they decided to teach him a lesson by falsely claiming he had impregnated them.
This audacious plot ultimately led to the episode’s rejection.
Bonus Feature on DVD While the episode was deemed too controversial for broadcast, it found a place as a bonus feature on the MASH: Martinis and Medicine Collection DVD boxset.
CBS’s Decision MAS*H co-creator Larry Gelbart revealed that CBS vehemently opposed the episode, deeming it unfit for television in the early ’70s.
The network’s rationale was that Hawkeye’s dual relationships were considered “too spicy” and implied infidelity, which was unacceptable for the era.
Another Discarded Plot Larry Gelbart also disclosed that another storyline faced the chopping block.
It involved the MASH unit standing outside in the cold, hoping to fall ill enough to be sent home.
CBS rejected this plot, citing it as “too unpatriotic.”
Navigating Content for Family Audiences Throughout MAS*H’s run, the creators encountered challenges in maintaining a tone suitable for family audiences.
They had to strike a delicate balance between humor and respecting the boundaries of the time.
Despite some clashes with CBS, they largely succeeded in crafting the show they envisioned.
Conclusion MAS*H’s legacy includes not only its unforgettable characters and humor but also its occasional clashes with network standards, exemplified by the rejected episode “Hawkeye on the Double.” While this particular script never graced the small screen, it serves as a testament to the evolving nature of television content and the boundaries that have been pushed over the years.