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Terry Lynn Rakolta (née Stern; September 18, 1944) 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]

Terry Lynn Rakolta
Born Terry Lynn Stern
(1944-09-18) September 18, 1944 (age 72)
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Anti-obscenity activist
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) John Rakolta, ?–present
Relatives Ronna Romney (sister), Republican activist

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Life and familyEdit

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 mormon.[4]

Married... with Children boycottEdit

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 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 9:00 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]

While boycott affected the content of Married… with Children, it did little economic damage. A year after the boycott, nearly all the defecting advertisers had returned, and ratings were higher. In other words, her boycott attempt backfired on her making the program much more popular.

Rakolta and her boycott were referenced in the Married... with Children episode "No Pot to Pease In", in which a sitcom based on the Bundys' lives is cancelled because "some woman in Michigan didn't like it."

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 alsoEdit

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