Sony Pictures Television

Sally Struthers argued that people who found All in the Family offensive didn't actually understand the show

If it's possible, All in the Family might just be a more divisive show today than it was when it premiered all those years ago. During the time of airing, the series drew the ire of many viewers for what they considered to be objectionable material, things that perpetuated hateful stereotypes, and lines that were too offensive to say on a television program.

Of course, series creator Norman Lear rallied against these critics, arguing that the bigotry of a character like Archie Bunker was a necessary part of All in the Family and that the series wasn't celebrating such hate, but rather, disparaging it.

In an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat, Sally Struthers, who played Bunker's daughter Gloria Stivic, argued that those who took offense to a series like All in the Family weren't just wrong, they had missed the entire point of the series.

"We tried to poke fun at Archie," she said. "We made a very conscious effort." Struthers also mentioned that there were strict rules in place to ensure that this effort didn't go unnoticed. "The rule was, you didn't let Archie say anything that was socially or racially inappropriate unless he was corrected for it or put down after it."

"He wasn't allowed to spout any of these epithets unless he was corrected. I'm not sure the people who found the show offensive realized that." 

In an interview with the Chicago Daily News, Struthers also revealed that sometimes, the script was actually sacrificed in an effort to make sure their point was getting across. "If we can't come up with a funny answer, we cut his [Archie's] line," Struthers said.

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