In the latest episode of his Culture Cruise series, Matt Baume looks back at the TV sitcom Cheers and how it tackled homophobia at a time when the AIDS crisis was in its early stages.
Wrote Baume: “In early 1983, the show ‘Cheers’ was brand new, getting terrible ratings, and close to getting cancelled. So what did they do? Ran an episode entitled ‘The Boys in the Bar’ that was all about how homophobia threatened to destroy the bar. It was a huge risk and could have turned off what few viewers the show had — but it may actually have saved the show.”