It’s not really news to point out that award winning TV show The Big Bang Theory is a load of sexist shit. I have to admit however that I do sometimes watch it.
Since it started in 2007, a running joke has been that one of the main characters Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) has a really needy/ controlling mother, that we never see her just hear her (Carol Ann Susi) shouting from elsewhere in their shared house.
There’s a good tradition of unseen sit com characters but I think the joke here works because (we are told) that Mrs Wolowitz is immensely overweight and hirsute – a ‘horror’ hard to cast and only enhanced by leaving it in our imagination.
Mrs Wolowitz also sometimes needs to be cared for by her son and I suspect this is another image that mainstream TV wants to hide from us. I think we don’t like generally to see people that are overweight or sick.