If you’ve kept up with the most recent seasons of Family Feud, chances are you’ve noticed things have gotten a little risqué. And if you haven’t, then former NCIS star, Pauley Perrette, has you covered.
The actress behind the NCIS goth forensic scientist took to Twitter on Monday to chastise the brain trust behind Feud for making the show “so filthy.”
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) August 13, 2018
Perrette then follows up by stating she’s “a sociologist” and asks “Why are all the questions now filthy and sex questions?”
I’m a sociologist, love @FamilyFeudABC but WHY WHY are all the questions now filthy and sex questions? There’s so much more to humans. Cmon
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) August 13, 2018
The actress, civil rights activist, and singer/songwriter recently left NCIS in episode 22 of season 15, and apparently has been using some of that time to lambast the CBS game show.
Her inquiry drew in plenty of responses. Many Twitter users were on her side. However, others felt that she was being too sensitive or, as one Twitter user said, too “prudish.”
Oh…were you able to finish your Masters in sociology? If not, may want to lay off describing yourself as one. Also, Family Feud has ALWAYS been risqué. Try watching old episodes from the ‘80s. It hasn’t gotten worse, people who watch shoes like these have gotten more prudish.
— ScientiaEstPotentia (@SuffrinSuffrage) August 13, 2018
Another user tried to call out the hypocrisy of Perrette’s concerns by pointing a finger at the violent nature of NCIS.
So the violance and horror of the crazy criminals that NCIS featured was healthy for young people. Please… stop with the double standard Pauley
— Paul Koepfinger (@26_2EZ) August 15, 2018
While some implored everybody to take a look at some archival footage of earlier seasons:
You mean the show where Richard Dawson who kissed underage and married women on the lips for years? That show?
— Christopher (@CreCre07) August 13, 2018
Why complain now the question has always been risky way before Steve Harvey became host when Richard Dawson was host he was doing alot if you dont like it no one asking you to watch. its ridiculous complain about some of these fealty cartoons kids are watching everyday GEEZ
— ANGIE DANIELS (@ANGIEDA35466045) August 14, 2018
It’s clear by some of the responses that Perrette isn’t alone in her thinking.
My mom (88) wont watch family feud anymore because its too dirty. Everything doesn't have to have a sexual twist to it
— Karen Coates (@Kacutoo) August 13, 2018
It does seem the questions are made to draw out nasty answers, which is a shame cause the show is funny without all that. And it is getting worse all the time
— Sherry (@dixiechicadee) August 13, 2018
Yes! Imagine watching this at 3:30 EST with your 74-year-old religious mother. Match Game is/was almost as bad. I'm in no way a prude, but wtf? #FamilyFeudABC
— KDVine (@kd_vine) August 13, 2018
I agree with you whole-heartily! I stopped watching it a couple of years ago – 2 much profanity
— Ida Malone Jackson (@Idaevelyn) August 13, 2018
In fact, rewind to October 2015, and you’ll find that viewers were already growing displeased with Feud’s switch to heavily sexualized polls. During one airing in 2015, host Steve Harvey prompted a contestant with stating the “first part of a woman you touch to get her in the mood.”
“Um, that would be the lower front,” the contestant answered, timidly completing the thought with, “or the vagina.”
Viewers also took issue with an earlier show where Harvey asked what “the last thing you stuck your finger in.” One answer he received was “my wife.”
According to Dan Gainor, the vice president of business and culture of the Media Research Center, growing sexuality in game shows is related to the acceptance of sexual content on television.
“Sex acts that many Americans had never even heard of are now typical dialogue,” Gainor told FOX11 in 2015.
That doesn’t mean people have to like it, though; and to see just how displeased viewers are getting, it only takes a trip to Perrette’s Twitter thread.
Agreed! Fun doesn't have to be dirty! Clean it up guys, make it a family show again OR change the name to Sexual Feud or something equally ridiculous!
— DBarrieau (@dmbarrieau) August 13, 2018
AMEN, sister! It’s old and harder to watch with any old man trying to be cute about it.
— Rachel X (@RachelChauvin1) August 14, 2018
We don't watch it anymore either. It's ridiculous and disgusting.
— Darlene Frederick (@Darlene38) August 14, 2018
There is one reality that even displeased viewers must face, however.
The ratings are much higher than they've been in decades so people love this format/host
— Ron (@ron12274) August 14, 2018
And that’s a true statement. According to NY Daily News, since Harvey took over and the show started to integrate more sexual questions, ratings have continually surpassed Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
Family Feud’s newer format just lends credence to the age-old concept that “sex sells.”