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Old April 14 2013, 02:02 PM   #16
Australis
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

I can't watch the show. I'm a guy and I find it irredeemably sexist. Yes, that was the times, and an accurate representation, probably. But I don't live there.
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Old April 14 2013, 02:25 PM   #17
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Darrin Stevens.

Larry Tate vs. Don Drapper in a misogynistoff?

Colleagues? I doubt it.

But what about customers?
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Old April 14 2013, 02:33 PM   #18
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Australis wrote: View Post
There was no diversity in the era of Mad Men.
Seriously? Having lived during that time, I'm surprised to "learn" this.

I guess it didn't need to be said.
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Old April 14 2013, 03:18 PM   #19
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Clearly, the writer cited In the OP has no idea what "Mad Men" is about or what kind of people the SCDDP people are/were
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Old April 14 2013, 09:32 PM   #20
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Were there advertising agencies in the 1960s which only had white people working there? If the answer is 'no' then she has a valid point to make. If the answer is 'yes' then not so much.
The "answer" is irrelevant even though I'm sure there were some blacks employed at ad agencies in positions other than secretaries and mail room employees even in 1960's New York.

Mad Men is about Don Draper and his life, his ad agency, advertising and ad agencys in the 1960's, and the 1960's. None of that precludes stories with black people in them. They don't have to show blacks in positions of power or in positions like Draper's in order to feature them in stories.

Don, who is cheating again, has an affair with a black woman--it turns into more than he expected. Roger has an affair with black woman... Pete has affair with black woman... More provacatively, Peggy has affair with black man... The agency gets into financial trouble, sees advertising to blacks as a way to quick bucks with no competition -- hires black person to culturalize creative staff. They could do a story featuring Don's secretary.

Hell, even I can come up with easy ways to include black people. I'm not advocating this, but thinking that Mad Men doesn't produce stories with blacks because they can't -- because the show is set in the 1960's -- is simply incorrect. It is because either AMC doesn't want it or Matthew Weiner doesn't or both.

But to be fair, in the first few seasons the show did have some stories with blacks. It has only been in the last couple of seasons that it has appeared that there are no blacks on Mad Men.
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Old April 14 2013, 09:49 PM   #21
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

the G-man wrote: View Post
... SCDDP people...
Translation, pls?
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Old April 14 2013, 09:49 PM   #22
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

gblews wrote: View Post
But to be fair, in the first few seasons the show did have some stories with blacks. It has only been in the last couple of seasons that it has appeared that there are no blacks on Mad Men.
Now that's just not true.

I believe there was a (short) subplot at the beginning of the last season. And Don Draper's secretary is black and is around regularly (remember the night she spent in Peggy's apartment last season?).
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Old April 14 2013, 09:56 PM   #23
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
the G-man wrote: View Post
... SCDDP people...
Translation, pls?
Sterling Cooper Draper and Price. The extra D was supposed to be an ampersand. My apologies.
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Old April 14 2013, 10:18 PM   #24
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Hell, even I can come up with easy ways to include black people. I'm not advocating this, but thinking that Mad Men doesn't produce stories with blacks because they can't -- because the show is set in the 1960's -- is simply incorrect. It is because either AMC doesn't want it or Matthew Weiner doesn't or both.
As others have noted the show is ultimately about Don. Don has a black secretary but it's also clear that Don is far from the most enlightened person. In the first episode he was sleeping with a Jewish woman while bragging to Roger he hadn't hired any "on [his] watch."

Remember, the only reason he hired her was because: (a) he had an idea for exploiting the civil rights movement, resulting in a flood of unwanted job applications from black people; (b) Cooper and Sterling (whom you might remember parading around in blackface a party) figured making him hire her was comeuppance for Don's idea and/or for sleeping with and/or marrying the office staff.

As you point out, the show is Don's story. Don is not someone inclined to associate socially with African Americans. It would be a betrayal of the character to do what you want.

Don, who is cheating again, has an affair with a black woman--it turns into more than he expected. Roger has an affair with black woman... Pete has affair with black woman... More provacatively, Peggy has affair with black man... The agency gets into financial trouble, sees advertising to blacks as a way to quick bucks with no competition -- hires black person to culturalize creative staff. They could do a story featuring Don's secretary.
See above, re: Don.

As for other characters, Pryce had an affair with a black woman while his wife was in England. Kinsey also dated a black woman for a while. So what you want has effectively already occurred.

Furthermore, as touched upon above, Roger is an overt racist. Besides his antics in blackface he separates jews from "normal" people and made his feelings of contempt for the Japanese explicit to potential clients. He's more polished than, say, Archie Bunker, but about as unlikely to have an affair with a "Negro."

And, to be frank, Peggy isn't much better. While she felt guilty about it, she hesitated leaving Don's secretary alone with a large sum of money.

Ironically, of all the main characters, Pete is probably the least racist.
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Old April 15 2013, 04:36 AM   #25
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

I remember a great little promo for David Schwimmer appearing as guest host on SNL - he's looking at the camera saying "Tune in on Saturday and see me do things I never do on 'Friends'" - whereupon the SNL cast member standing next to him says:

"Like, talk to a black person?"



American TV still manages a remarkable lack of diversity in shows set in contemporary NYC - particularly situation comedies, for some reason.
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Old April 15 2013, 05:28 AM   #26
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

IndyJones wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
But to be fair, in the first few seasons the show did have some stories with blacks. It has only been in the last couple of seasons that it has appeared that there are no blacks on Mad Men.
Now that's just not true.

I believe there was a (short) subplot at the beginning of the last season. And Don Draper's secretary is black and is around regularly (remember the night she spent in Peggy's apartment last season?).
Yeah, last season had more black people than the show had had in the past. This season Peggy has a black secretary as well.
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Old April 15 2013, 05:44 AM   #27
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

The woman who wrote the editorial in the OP is completely correct, it's absolutely ridiculous how white US television is for the most part. But I agree with the people who said Mad Men is different.

I think if they had major storylines about black people in that scenario, they would inevitably be much more sympathetic characters than the people the show is actually about, and that would distract from the storytelling.
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Old April 15 2013, 08:18 AM   #28
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
American TV still manages a remarkable lack of diversity in shows set in contemporary NYC - particularly situation comedies, for some reason.
Didn't Woody Allen movies use to get a lot of grief for that as well?
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Old April 15 2013, 11:40 AM   #29
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

the G-man wrote: View Post
Hell, even I can come up with easy ways to include black people. I'm not advocating this, but thinking that Mad Men doesn't produce stories with blacks because they can't -- because the show is set in the 1960's -- is simply incorrect. It is because either AMC doesn't want it or Matthew Weiner doesn't or both.
As others have noted the show is ultimately about Don. Don has a black secretary but it's also clear that Don is far from the most enlightened person. In the first episode he was sleeping with a Jewish woman while bragging to Roger he hadn't hired any "on [his] watch."

Remember, the only reason he hired her was because: (a) he had an idea for exploiting the civil rights movement, resulting in a flood of unwanted job applications from black people; (b) Cooper and Sterling (whom you might remember parading around in blackface a party) figured making him hire her was comeuppance for Don's idea and/or for sleeping with and/or marrying the office staff.

As you point out, the show is Don's story. Don is not someone inclined to associate socially with African Americans. It would be a betrayal of the character to do what you want.

Don, who is cheating again, has an affair with a black woman--it turns into more than he expected. Roger has an affair with black woman... Pete has affair with black woman... More provacatively, Peggy has affair with black man... The agency gets into financial trouble, sees advertising to blacks as a way to quick bucks with no competition -- hires black person to culturalize creative staff. They could do a story featuring Don's secretary.
See above, re: Don.

As for other characters, Pryce had an affair with a black woman while his wife was in England. Kinsey also dated a black woman for a while. So what you want has effectively already occurred.

Furthermore, as touched upon above, Roger is an overt racist. Besides his antics in blackface he separates jews from "normal" people and made his feelings of contempt for the Japanese explicit to potential clients. He's more polished than, say, Archie Bunker, but about as unlikely to have an affair with a "Negro."

And, to be frank, Peggy isn't much better. While she felt guilty about it, she hesitated leaving Don's secretary alone with a large sum of money.

Ironically, of all the main characters, Pete is probably the least racist.
Sounds like a wonderful show.
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Old April 15 2013, 11:46 AM   #30
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Actually, it is. The characters arent supposed to be avatars of virtue or tolerance, any more than the mobsters on the Sopranos were intended as role models.
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