During the twentieth century, a moral activist and former teacher named Mary Whitehouse waged a battle against the BBC. According to Whitehouse and her group, the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, the network continued to show content that damaged the public.
She expressed her displeasure with Doctor Who for teaching youngsters how to make bombs. She voiced her displeasure with comedy characters that used the phrase “bloody.” She expressed her dissatisfaction with BBC coverage of the liberation of concentration camps (“It was destined to shock and offend,” she stated, describing the coverage as “extremely off-putting”).
The BBC, which is funded by the people, is required to listen to public concerns, and Whitehouse’s demands have been met on occasion. She sued for libel when one of her detractors dubbed her a fascist. She sued a homosexual publication for “blasphemous libel” after they published a poem about someone lusting after Jesus, and won again.
She protested Alice Cooper’s song “School’s Out” in 1972. It’s a great song about kids celebrating the end of the school year, except for the lyrics, which indicate that the singer detonated bombs in the school, killing the teachers and staff. She attempted to have the BBC remove the song entirely, but while she was unsuccessful, she did persuade them to remove it off their high-profile countdown show Top of the Pops.
This, according to Alice Cooper, is the reason for the song’s enormous appeal. “School’s Out” became a pub and club song, charted at number one, and catapulted the band to fame. Cooper sent a bouquet of flowers and a thank you card to Mary Whitehouse.