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‘Dawson’s Creek’ at 20: That Time It Was Condemned for Safe Sex, LGBT Acceptance

The Parents Television Council was not into the references to porn either

You don’t wanna wait for the 20th anniversary of “Dawson’s Creek” to be over before you hear this news. Or, rather, remember this old news.

Saturday marks two decades since the pop culture phenomenon debuted, so TheWrap would like to bring this little bit of history to your attention: Back in the ’90s, the Parents Television Council named the popular WB series (which ran for five seasons from 1998-2003) one of the worst shows on television — two years running.

This was in part due to positive references the teen soap made about pornography and condoms, and the show’s acceptance of LGBTQ characters.

The organization awarded the Kevin Williamson-created show the prize of single worst program of the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons for being “the crudest of the network shows aimed at kids,” which had “an almost obsessive focus on pre-marital sexual activity.”

The series — which starred James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams and later Busy Philipps — was bumped down to the fourth worst show in 2000-2001.

It wasn’t just the PTC that had it in for Dawson and co. Former UPN President Lucie Salhany was also very critical of the WB for airing the drama, which portrayed  “adolescent characters in adult situations,” in an early time slot, on what was supposed to be “the family network.”

But, it was a rival network. So, take that criticism with a grain of salt.