The Dawn of Television Promised Diversity. Here’s Why We Got “Leave It to Beaver” Instead.Breaking News
tags: FBI, diversity
At the start of the Cold War, a prominent group of women, who had worked their way up in broadcast media in the 1930s and ’40s, were poised to use the new medium of television to create the kind of inclusive, intersectional content that is only today finding traction. Then, the blacklist, a vicious, hearsay-riddled manifest of Hollywood talent with ties to Communism, silenced their creative output. It effectively turned back on the dial of progressive representations on TV by decades.
“It’s hard for me to watch things and to hear about [today’s] writers and directors talk about their work without thinking about that earlier generation,” says Carol A. Stabile, a professor of women’s gender and sexuality studies at the University of Oregon and the author of the newly released book, The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist.
The Broadcast 41 tells a story about what happens when non-male, non-white perspectives are excluded from media industries, and it imagines what the new medium of television might have looked like had dissenting viewpoints not been eliminated at such a formative moment.
A much-needed addition to television scholarship, The Broadcast 41 uses original archival research and FBI documents to piece together the stories of the 41 women named on the list.
comments powered by Disqus
- New Statue Unsettles Italian City: Is It Celebrating a Poet or a Nationalist?
- A Charter School Gets Canceled for Wanting to Teach Indigenous History
- The 1969 Documentary That Tried to Humanize Queen Elizabeth II and The Royal Family
- The 96-Year-History of the Equal Rights Amendment
- The Amazon Rainforest under Threat
- An interview with historian James Oakes on the New York Times’ 1619 Project
- Historian Jeffrey Engel Takes Listener Questions On Impeachment Inquiry on NPR's All Things Considered
- 5 Historians on What Was Truly Unprecedented in This Week’s Impeachment Hearings
- Teaching impeaching: History comes to life in school as teachers seize on this historic moment. Here’s what some are doing — and how.
- Smithsonian Elevates the Frequently Ignored Histories of Women