‘Mad Men’ Opens Its Fifth Season on AMC





There was no question that “Mad Men” would get around to the civil rights movement. From the start, racism was the carbon monoxide of the show: a poison that couldn’t always be detected over the pungent scent of cigarettes, sexism, anti-Semitism, alcoholism, homophobia and adultery, but that sooner or later was bound to turn noxious....

...“Mad Men” returns to AMC for a fifth season on Sunday, and times have changed — again. African-Americans are now picketing on the street, chanting for fair employment and equal opportunity. It’s a tinderbox summer of riots and protests, and the reception from some who are working on Madison Avenue is less than supportive. Advertising may be a cool profession that draws talented, sophisticated people, but even some of them can be bigots. '

“Mad Men” distinguished itself by depicting not just the fashion of the 1960s but also the attitudes that are now so unfashionable. The show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, found a sly, satirical way to revive the crudest forms of sexism and prejudice that were typical then but are nowadays carefully airbrushed out of television....




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