|Born:||September 18, 1944|
|Birthplace:||Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|Occupation:||Anti-obscenity crusader, political lobbyist, activist|
|Spouse(s):||John Rakolta, CEO of Walbridge, General Consul for Romania's Honorary General Consulate in Detroit, MI, ?-present|
|Series inolved with:||Married... with Children|
|Job with series:||launched a sponsors' boycott against the series back in 1989|
Terry Rakolta (born Terry Lynn Stern, September 18, 1944) is a housewife, homemaker and former anti-obscenity activist, best known for leading a boycott against the Married... with Children TV series in 1989.
Life and family
Rakolta is a lifelong resident of Bloomfield Hills, MI, a Detroit suburb. She is married to John Rakolta the CEO of Walbridge, and the General Consul for Romania's Honorary General Consulate in Detroit.
Rakolta's sister, Ronna Romney, is a Republican political activist and radio talk show host, who was formerly married to G. Scott Romney, the son of former Michigan governor George W. Romney and brother of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Rakolta's husband was a National Chairman for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.
Married… with Children boycott
Rakolta was prompted to write to the sponsors of Married… with Children after her kids had watched the Season 3 episode "Her Cups Runneth Over" on January 15, 1989, in which Al and his friend Steve purchase a bra for Peg. That very same episode had also showed Al ogling at a naked model in a department store, but with her back facing the camera. Several sponsors decided to cancel their commercials in response.
Fox responded to the boycott by moving the show's time slot from 8:30 to 9 PM and toning down the level of "raunch" in the series, reducing the amount of sexual content and implied nudity. Fox also decided not to air a potentially offensive episode titled "I'll See You in Court". Known as the "Lost Episode", it was finally aired in 2002 on FX and was packaged with the rest of the third season in the 2005 DVD release. The episode has aired outside America as a regular episode of season three ever since the show went into syndication.
Rakolta made several appearances on television talk shows and news programs at the time, including Nightline.
However, the boycott did little economic damage to Fox and to Married… with Children. A year after the boycott, nearly all the defecting advertisers had returned, and ratings were higher than ever. Rakolta herself felt that her boycott had contributed to the show's higher viewership.
Rakolta later founded "Americans for Responsible Television" to fight against other shows that she deemed offensive, including shows by Phil Donahue and Howard Stern.
- A Mother Is Heard as Sponsors Abandon a TV Hit (March 2, 1989) New York Times
- Honorary Consulates of Romania in the US: Detroit, Michigan
- Mitt Romney Bolsters National Finance Committee Leaders
- Has 'Married' Been Muzzled?, Gene Seymour and Veronica Byrd, Entertainment Weekly, February 16, 1990
- I'll See You in Court overview
- Terry Rakolta's Fight against Married... with Children
- Americans for Responsible Television profile via Response Unlimited
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