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

"I'm not sure the people who found the show offensive realized that."

Sony Pictures Television

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.

Watch All in the Family on MeTV!

Two full hours!

Sundays at 8 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

7 Comments

LynCarrigan 7 days ago
Archie may have been corrected and used to illustrate the objectionable but who needs to hear his crap. Good we can just turn the dial!
ncadams27 8 days ago
Archie is the only character who had to work to raise a family. Mike, whose views were shaped by his liberal professors, had no idea what it was like to actually live in the real world. Same with Gloria who didn’t work or have any kids (at least early on). Edith also had an idealized view of the world and didn’t have to deal with any problems - those were left to Archie.
JHP ncadams27 8 days ago
if you dont want liberty,,,,,try 1776 and look at any currency slogan (go live in Hungary) !!!! where would this Malaprop-ed country be? if it wasnt for our SUCKERS

ahhh then and there was d-day - this country fought against narrow thinking and seig ****

Herr goose-stepper
JHP 9 days ago
a blonde female with smarts:) go figure

she is spot on and those that don't like the show - go watch the "Floor" or buy a vowel
Cougar90 10 days ago
Another Hollywood liberal telling us how to look at tv shows and if criticize the program then there's something wrong with us. How original.
DocForbin 11 days ago
I just don't get it about millennials and Gen-Zers thinking that All in the Family is racist. The whole point of the show was that you were to laugh AT Archie Bunker and his bigoted antics, not WITH him! Sometimes you have to make fun of racism, bigotry and intolerance in order to show how incredibly stupid they and those who perpetuate them really are!
WilliamJorns DocForbin 8 days ago
Correct! The night All In The Family premiered, right before the show started, the network made a brief on-air announcement stating that the program was intended to show through humor how offensive racism and sexism really is. In other words, it was satire - plain and simple.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?