14 Facts About Hollywood That'll Ruin Your Childhood

Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
When our parents used to plop us down in front of the TV or a movie screen, they might not have realized that some of the best children's entertainment is pretty effed up.
Turns out that the people who made some of our favorite films were bigots and jerks. The animals who starred in some of our favorite TV shows were thrown off of cliffs and driven to suicide. And, Full House was kinda full of perverts.
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It's rough out there. But, hey, at least we can't say that mass media didn't prepare us for the real world.
Click through to see what we mean.
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Photo: Courtesy of MGM.
The Cowardly Lion is made of real lion: In an effort to make The Wizard of Oz look as real as possible, the Cowardly Lion costume, worn by Bert Lahr, was made of actual lion skins. Several copies of the costume were constructed, which means multiple lions gave up the ghost for MGM. (The Tin Man's costume, meanwhile, was made of bamboo and silver-painted leather. So much for authenticity.)
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Photo: Courtesy of MGM.
Flipper killed herself: If you've seen Blackfish, you know that trained aquatic mammals aren't always the most mentally stable creatures. So, it went with Kathy (or Cathy), one of several bottlenose dolphins that played Flipper in the eponymous 1960s TV series.

Kathy's trainer, Richard O'Barry, maintains that she killed herself because of the conditions of her captivity. "[Dolphins] and whales are not automatic air breathers," O'Barry once said in an interview with PBS. "Every breath they take is a conscious effort. So, they can end their life whenever they want to and that's what Cathy did. She chose to not take that next breath, and you have to call that suicide, self-induced asphyxiation in a steel tank at the aquarium." O'Barry has since become an anti-captivity activist.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Princess Leia was doing coke on Hoth: It's not exactly a secret that Carrie Fisher once had a pretty serious drug and alcohol problem. Still, it's a little hard to see the tough, composed Princess Leia on screen and imagine the hopped-up party girl behind the character. Fisher has admitted that she did snort cocaine between filming takes for The Empire Strikes Back on the fictional planet Hoth — the ice planet, heh — but those reports about her growing a drug nail to do so are unfounded. "I never used my fingernail for drugs," Fisher tweeted in 2012. "I used dollars or tiny spoons like any other respectable former drug addict."
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Uncle Joey got freaky in a theater: Ever wondered who Alanis Morissette went down on in that probably Canadian theater? Full House's Dave Coulier, who briefly dated the Jagged Little Pill songstress in the 1990s, is pretty sure those lyrics in "You Oughta Know" are about him. "You did that popcorn cup trick one time and it comes back to haunt you for the rest of your life," Coulier said in January.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Cindy and Bobby got freaky: Cersei and Jaime Lannister have recently made brother-sister incest look oh-so chic on TV, but Cindy and Bobby Brady were already at it 40 years ago. Well, maybe not the characters — thought you'd missed that episode, huh? — but actress Susan Olsen confirmed that she and Mike Lookinland used to suck face between takes. "[We] used to kiss in the doghouse and we'd say we had 'makeout sessions' in the doghouse," Olsen said last year. "We didn't know how to make out! We would just kiss each other and go, 'I love you, I love you,' and hug."
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Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
101 Dalmations weren't great for Dalmations: Disney's 1961 animated version of 101 Dalmatians was so incredibly successful that it was rereleased in theaters four more times after its initial run, and it inspired two live-action remakes. Each time one of the films hit theaters, there was also a surge in dalmatian puppy demand. But, high-energy and often temperamental dalmatians aren't the best dogs for children, so many of those dogs ended up abandoned in animal shelters. Part of the problem was overzealous parents, but amateur breeders and puppy mills capitalized on the trend to supply the dogs.
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Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
Same goes for Finding Nemo and clown fish: As with those poor puppies, Disney helped to fuel another pet craze with Finding Nemo. Both clown fish and blue tangs — represented in the film by Nemo and Dory — started flying out of pet-shop aquaria and into moviegoers' homes after they were charmed by the animated aquatic life depicted in the film. Some children, however, were so taken with Finding Nemo that they tried to liberate their own fish and send them back to their ocean parents — by flushing them down the toilet.
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Milo & Otis, allegedly cruel: Though the allegations have never been confirmed, the creators of The Adventures of Milo & Otis were repeatedly accused of abusing animals for the film. One animal rights group claimed that 20 kittens were killed during the making of the movie, and that other cats were injured in order to make them look unsteady on their feet. The American Humane Association investigated those claims but was unable to verify them, writing that "everything has led to a dead end." What's undeniable, though, is that the director shot one scene (deleted from the final cut) of Otis wrestling with a bear, and another showing Milo free-falling from a cliff — with no special effects.
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Photo: Courtesy of General Mills.
Cookie Monster really was a monster: Cookie Monster didn't always have a problem with cookies. Like most addicts, he had a gateway drug: cheesy crackers. Before Jim Henson created the Muppets as we know them, he would try them out in commercials. Cookie Monster made his debut as the "Wheel Stealer" of — you guessed it — Wheels, a cheese snack made by General Mills. Back then, he even had some grasp of grammar, too — before he lost his teeth.
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Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
Fighting Nazis on broomsticks: You might think it's just a cute film with talking animals and flying furniture, but have you ever realized that Bedknobs and Broomsticks' final act is all about harnessing the powers of the occult to fight the Third Reich? In the film, Angela Lansbury plays budding witch Eglantine Price, who lives in the seaside village of Pepperinge Eye. The country is in the middle of The Blitz, and Eglantine hopes to aid the war effort by learning the lost art of magic. When a small platoon of Nazis invades Pepperinge Eye, she summons the spirits of medieval knights to fight them off. No wonder some crackpots have accused Disney of promoting witchcraft.
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Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Walt Disney was pretty problematic: All in all, Walt Disney was not a particularly inoffensive fellow. He was a cofounder of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, an anti-Communist group that supplied witnesses for the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and contained several anti-Semitic members. Several of his earliest films, including Dumbo and Song of the South, had racist characters or overtones. On top of it all, his company wasn't fond of employing female artists, telling one applicant to the Inking and Painting Department that "girls are not considered for the training school" because "that work is performed entirely by young men."
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Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
This one doesn't really need a lot of context. Roald Dahl, beloved author of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, had some rather contentious views on Israel, which, by themselves, might not seem that scandalous. But, what might have been just a political stance on Palestine became flat-out anti-Semitism. In addition to suggesting that the U.S. government was "dominated by the great Jewish financial institutions," the author also told a reporter in 1983, "There's a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity...I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason."
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Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
Hitler loved Snow White: Hitler might've been a genocidal megalomaniac, but he still had a soft spot for Disney. It's been widely rumored that the dictator's favorite film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, despite the fact that he never allowed the film to be released in Germany. In 2008, a Norwegian museum director claimed to have discovered several cartoons, including likenesses of Bashful and Doc, that were drawn by Hitler. (The Führer worked as a painter before he became a monster.) The cartoons haven't been independently authenticated, but the museum director claims they were made by Hitler's hand.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Bob Saget is a dirty bird: By now, everyone knows that Bob Saget has a dirty mouth and a twisted mind. This is a guy who once told a standup audience, "I have the brain of a German Shepherd and the body of a 16-year-old boy. They’re both in my car, and I want you to see them." He also got up to some adults-only hijinks on the the set of Full House, too. In his memoir, Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian, Saget writes that he once did some unkind things to a rubber doll that was meant to serve as a stand-in for Michelle Tanner: "Oh yeah, so I’m throwing it around, pretending to do stuff to it, as one would if there were no child actors within a couple soundstages' distance and you were a comedian with no moral compass in front of a crowd of people…and what I didn't know was the television monitors were turned on in the schoolroom and all the dressing rooms, and in certain offices on the studio lot."
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