Why did images of white, nuclear families dominate television in the 1950s? Why has it taken nearly 70 years for images of a diverse America—featuring people of color, immigrants, women as independent social beings—to appear on prime time television? Challenging the longstanding belief that what appeared on television screens in the 1950s and after resulted from some social consensus, The Broadcast 41 addresses these and other questions by telling two intersecting stories.
Marsha Hunt, the longest-lived of the 41 women listed in Red Channels in 1950, died last week.
Along with Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, John Huston, and Katherine Hepburn, Hunt joined the Committee for the First Amendment, a group the grew out of attacks on the Hollywood writers, producers, and directors who became known as the Hollywood Ten and challenged the House Un-American Activities Committee's attacks on progressives in the film industry.
A Terrible Silence focuses on five of the 41 women who were blacklisted in television in 1950. The play tells something of their lives, their dreams, their prolific talents and their silencers.
Great conversation with Books Aren't Dead producers Robin Hershkowitz and Emily Edwards about researching and writing about the Broadcast 41. Honored to be the subject of their reboot and looking forward to listening to the next BAD podcast.