More than 50 years after he appeared in Batman, Burt Ward is still one of the most iconic Robins. Proof of his continued popularity was his recent cameo in The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover. While walking Ace the Bat-Hound through Gotham, Ward’s now elderly Dick Grayson looks up at the reddening skies and announces, “Holy crimson skies of death!”
But Robin probably had something more forceful to cry when he learned in the sixties that ABC had a plan more nefarious and evil than anything the Joker could come up with. They wanted to shrink his penis.
As is so often the case in weird penis-related news, the root of this story lies in the Catholic church. With Batman a monster hit, all eyes were on the show and at least some of those eyes were drawn to the sizeable groinal protrusion of Burt Ward. Faced with this threat to the nation’s morals, the Catholic League of Decency stepped forward and told ABC to sort it out.
In a recent interview, Ward explained that “they thought that Robin had a very large bulge for television.” Something had to be done to protect America’s morals and while the sensible thing might have been to alter the costume, ABC decided to get pharmaceutical and sent Ward to see a doctor who prescribed medication to, in his words, “shrink me up.” But Ward had some (quite reasonable!) doubts, saying:
“I took them for three days and then I decided that they can probably keep me from having children. I stopped doing that and I just used my cape to cover it.”
And as for Adam West as Batman? Well, it seems he had the opposite problem, with Ward explaining:
“With Adam they put Turkish towels in his undershorts.”
Though this is a pretty funny story, it’s just another example of how terribly Burt Ward was treated while making Batman. His autobiography Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights revealed that not only was he on minimum wage for much the show’s run, but was also expected to do his own stunts. The studio argument for this was that you could see more of his face than Batman, but the real reason was that ABC was too cheap to shell out for a stuntman.
Back to the present day though and Batman has emerged from rights hell and is now available to stream on multiple platforms. If you’re only broadly familiar with it, be sure to check out some of the classic episodes. After all, there’s a good reason that it was so popular.
Source: Page Six