During a recent reunion of the 'Scrubs' cast and crew at Vulture Fest Los Angeles, series star Zach Braff revealed that the show's transition from NBC to ABC was a little rocky. One hitch that the series encountered was when 'Scrubs' creator Bill Lawrence shot an episode with a cancer patient who uses medical marijuana to treat chemo-therapy symptoms. Their Disney-owned network, ABC, however, was not too keen on the idea of overt reference to drug consumption, Braff explained.
"We only shot one thing ever that Bill had to throw out, " Braff said at the event. "That many years ago, they were like, 'Medicinal marijuana? Get the hell out of here!'"
Lawrence actually took the issue to the network to see what they could do about getting the episode on air. And while that didn't achieve his goal, he did discover just how "screwed up network television is."
"We had this story about getting medicinal marijuana for somebody who was having trouble with chemo and cancer," Lawrence said. "So to make a point, I said, 'What if the patient was a virgin and decided they want to have sex for the first time and Carla and Elliot wanted to go looking for a male prostitute for him?' They said, 'Oh, that’s fine.' We could get a prostitute, just not medicinal marijuana."
The network also seemed to have some homophobic leanings as well. The program was actually banned from showing the character played by Roberto Maschio in a revealing bathing suit.
"When we moved from NBC to ABC we were no longer allowed to show Rob in his banana hammock. We had to frame above his penis," said Braff.
Of course, Disney isn't exactly known for their progressive politics, but even so, the network's prejudicial stance against medical marijuana on a show literally about medicine is pretty absurd.