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It’s Always Sunny cast almost quit show in first series after ‘paedophile priest’ row with FX

It’s Always Sunny Writers Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day argued with FX about their ‘paedophile priest’ character (Picture: Bravo)

The cast of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia have revealed they almost quit the show in the first series following a row with FX over a ‘paedophile character’.

The show has become the longest-running live-action sitcom in US history as it airs its 15th season, but almost ended in its infancy as the writers and stars fought with the network over one of its many controversial episodes.

Charlie Got Molested is the seventh episode of the first series, and centres on the gang’s old gym teacher being accused of molesting several of the boys in their class.

However, the ‘paedophile’ character was first written to be a Catholic priest – not a teacher.

While it’s revealed in the end that the teacher was innocent, the bosses at FX were adamant that they did not want to have a Catholic priest accused of molestation in their show, causing a row that almost led the stars to quit.

In The Always Sunny Podcast, show creator Rob McElhenney, along with writers and stars Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton, revealed the character in question was ‘the first time we ran up against some real resistance’ from FX.

The cast almost quit the show in series one, before Danny DeVito joined and helped it become the cult classic it is today (Picture: Bravo TV)

‘FX got a little squirrelly about that’, Glenn, who plays Dennis Reynolds in the series, admitted, despite the fact ‘it was all over the news at the time’.

‘They got a little uncomfortable with the idea that a Catholic priest was molesting you guys – even though he isn’t molesting any of the kids in the episode.’

He added: ‘We almost quit the show over it! We were about to.’

Charlie interjected by saying: ‘That would have been dumb’, to which Glenn agreed: ‘So dumb!’

The show has become the longest-running sitcom in US history (Picture: Bluebush Productions/Bravo)

Glenn went on to say that FX ‘understood’ that they were passionate about keeping the character as it was, but asked them to try it with a different character and see if it still worked, with Glenn saying they would have been ‘a****les’ if they didn’t at least try.

The three stars accepted that FX was concerned about the pressure they would have come under had they aired the episode as is, with Charlie calling that ‘some dark s***’.

The podcast series sees the stars exploring their earliest episodes and, at times defending them – but often saying they now no longer find certain things funny.

Rob, Charlie, Glenn and Kaitlin Olson have starred in the show for a whopping 16 years, since its debut in 2005 (Credits: Will Hart / FX)

Elsewhere in the episode, Glenn, Rob and Charlie discussed how Charlie Got Molested introduced some of the most revered recurring characters that became fan favourites and remain in the show to this day.

The McPoyle twins, Uncle Jimmy and Charlie’s mum make their debut in this controversial episode, and Charlie mentions having a sister – who is promptly never mentioned again.

For 15 years, viewers have come up with fan theories about what could have happened to Charlie’s unnamed sister, but the newest episode of the podcast reveals that the writers genuinely forgot all about her.

Charlie Day has forged an impressive film career from his Sunny roots, appearing alongside the likes of Jennifer Anniston and Ice Cube – which may not have happened if they quit in the first series (Picture: Bluebush Productions/Bravo)

The 15th series of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is airing now on FX in the United States, but viewers in the UK will have to wait a while to watch it, with no release date confirmed as of yet.

What we do know about the series, however, is that the cast were filming in Ireland over the summer, with the crew putting out a plea for a Danny DeVito body double in Dublin.

Meanwhile, along with running the record-breaking TV series, Rob McElhenney has teamed up with Ryan Reynolds to buy Welsh football team Wrexham FC, and the famous pair recently visited the grounds to watch a match.

The Always Sunny Podcast is airing now on Spotify, Google and Apple Podcasts.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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