Terry Rakolta

Terry Rakolta
Born Terry Lynn Stern
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Anti-obscenity activist
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) John Rakolta, ?–present
Relatives Ronna Romney (sister), Republican activist

Terry Rakolta (born Terry Lynn Stern, September 18), is an American homemaker and former anti-obscenity activist, best known for leading a boycott against the Fox Broadcasting Company sitcom Married... with Children in 1989.[1]

Life and family

Rakolta is a resident of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She is married to John Rakolta, the CEO of Walbridge, and the General Consul for Romania's Honorary General Consulate in Detroit.[2]

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 Romney and brother of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Rakolta's husband was a National Chairman for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.[3] Rakolta is a Latter-day Saint.[4]

Married... with Children boycott

Rakolta was prompted to write to the sponsors of Married… with Children after her children watched the episode "Her Cups Runneth Over" on January 15, 1989, in which Al Bundy and his friend Steve purchase a bra for Al's wife, Peggy. 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.[5] Fox also decided not to air a potentially offensive episode titled "I'll See You in Court".[6] 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 the United States 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.[5]

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.[5] Rakolta herself felt that her boycott had contributed to the show's higher viewership. [5]

Rakolta later founded "Americans for Responsible Television" to fight against other shows that she deemed offensive, including shows by Phil Donahue and Howard Stern.[5]

See also


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