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Old April 15 2013, 12:14 PM   #31
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

the G-man wrote: View Post
Actually, it is. The characters aren't supposed to be avatars of virtue or tolerance, any more than the mobsters on the Sopranos were intended as role models.
The thing is, although I like Ms. Alexander`s script idea, I wish that she (and everybody else that keeps on harping about this) realize that Mad Men is a historical drama set in the 1960s; to be asking for a lot of people of color to be in this is asking the for shows like Downton Abbey to have the same when there weren`t a lot of interactions between people of color in England at the time the series was set (heck, there were barely any blacks in England at the time, IIRC.) Ms. Alexander need to just write and create her own show with POC`s in it (and ask for more in shows set in the present day) rather than harp on Mad Men for not having any POC`s in its cast.
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Old April 15 2013, 01:52 PM   #32
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
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.
Often shows do a 'diversity' thing when it wasn't true to the times it's set in. True to times now, but not then.

I can see the point in doing something that 'didn't happen', an alt universe take, But Mad Men isn't really that show.

That's all I'm trying to say.
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Old April 15 2013, 02:27 PM   #33
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Current American TV is very white-washed, though.

As far as Mad Men back in 2007, I was a little curious about the series but doubtful at the same time because of the backwards images that immediately popped into my mind.

Then my brother told me I should watch the series. By then, I noticed all the critical acclaim it was getting and I decided to give the series a chance. This was in the middle of the second season in 2008. I was hooked.

I looked up more about the series online and found out that Matt Weiner wanted to tell the story about a man in a turbulent decade and that we'd see the entirety of the 1960s.

The very first episode takes place in March 1960. I realized that was no coincidence. And anyone who knows anything about the 1960s knows that it was a time of change. So, then I thought to myself, "I know where they're going with this..."

As a result, it made it easier to sit through the backwardness because you're not supposed to like it. What also made it easier is that I knew things would change because, unlike the characters, I already know how that decade unfolds even though I never lived through it.

Case in point: Don tells Roger in the first episode that no "Jews" have been hired on his watch. By the fifth season, they have a Jewish copyrighter who's the rising star who Don feels threatened by.

Don's cheating also catches up with him when Betty not only finds out about it but also about his backstory and who he really was. It was too good of a story for Don not to get to caught, so that's something I also knew would eventually happen.

Peggy, who started off as Don's secretary is now a Creative Director at a rival advertising firm. No I'm not spoiling Season 6 because that happened at the end of Season 5 and that's been out for a year.

The formerly clean-cut office of Sterling Cooper is filled with facial hair now.

Half of watching the show, for me, is anticipating what's going to happen because it has to happen and, by the end of the series, it's going to be completely the opposite of where the series started.

And it's about how these characters react and how they adapt or don't adapt.
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Old April 15 2013, 08:43 PM   #34
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

the G-man wrote: View Post
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."
Bigger racist characters than Don Draper have been shown crossing racial lines when the right woman comes along. Besides that, the drama that can sometimes be wrung out of a racist temporarily forgetting his or her racism for a hot piece can be quite dramatic indeed. Crossing racial lines wouldn't not be untrue to Don's character either. He is a hypocrite and this would be further proof.

As you point out, the show is Don's story.
This is not something I pointed out. Don is the show's main protagonist but the show is also about other things which I did point out.
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."
Please don't continue thinking that racism prevents white guys from having affairs with black women. It only prevents some from having interracial affairs. Why do you think all those plantations had fair skinned slaves running around?
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.
Peggy is an even greater candidate for an interracial affair than Don. She is not so rigid in her thinking.

One last thing, if I may reiterate, because you wrote something about what I "want". I'm not advocating the series include more blacks or other minorities. My only point is that if they wanted to go in that direction there is nothing having to do with the time the show is set in, the characters' personalities, or the business the characters are involved in stopping them.
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Old April 16 2013, 01:48 AM   #35
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

I'm watching Sports Night, almost completed the first season... This program is set in the distant past that was stupid enough to think that it was being filmed in the consistent present where all their righteousness would be above board and... There was an early episode where they were ranting about how drugs should be decriminalized because it's irresponsibly choking up the prison system unfairly, when about half an hour earlier I'd seen Colbert pin up a mission accomplished banner on the very subject as it became clear that weed is very soon about to be legal in all the US... But does that mean that the hundreds of thousands of kids in prison are going to be released or held because the law holding them is now non existent?

Madmen on the other hand is a parody of history and not actually history, not that a story like Sports Night is anything but a parody of the present when it was made before it became a historical article of ancient times, parody or otherwise.

My point?

History is to laugh at.

Idiots that don't know shit muddling through without grace.
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Old April 18 2013, 07:00 PM   #36
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
Ms. Alexander need to just write and create her own show with POC`s in it (and ask for more in shows set in the present day)
Ugh, haven't we got enough present-day set shows already?

I'm sure there are tons of great black American-centric historical dramas left to make.
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Old April 19 2013, 02:49 AM   #37
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

How about an alternate history where the Negroes won the War of Independence?

I know that they were not oficially involved but that's why the Borg went back in time and struck Earth straight after World War III when they were too bloodied up already for a new fight.

Either...

A. The slaves sold out to the British Thrown in return for homerule of America.

B. 10 seconds after the British lose, Washington gets a hatchet to the back of his head because the colonies are in no shape to stand up to popular uprising at that exact point.

C. A coalition of African nations invades America to get all their kidnapped cousins back, rape and pillage everything and then plant their flag. Just imagine all these white people in pantaloons being thrown onto huge bonfires of crispy screaming white people.
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Old April 19 2013, 09:00 PM   #38
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
How about an alternate history where the Negroes won the War of Independence?

I know that they were not oficially involved
No more, please. The sheer stupidity of this post is positively breathtaking.
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Old April 19 2013, 11:36 PM   #39
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

A little stupider and you'd hyperventilate, even a little stupider and I'd kill you.

Not on purpose mind you.

I don't have a good reason to kill you, but if I did it's nice to know that I could probably get away with murdering you if all I have to do is keep talking until your eyes roll back.

Fuck.

I could be a hit man.

Make some serious bank.

A silent killer.

Well not silent like a ninja.

Not silent at all, but it would take a Poirotian genius to associate my gobshit to any existing series of bloody murders.
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Old April 20 2013, 06:04 AM   #40
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Well, one could posit a scenario in which a slave ship unknowingly imports an African virus that decimates as many Europeans as the European viruses did Native Americans... leaving the former slaves and occasional already-free blacks in control of the few remaining whites.

This could perhaps explain the world of White Man's Burden.
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Old April 20 2013, 06:33 AM   #41
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Perhaps it is worth repeating that there is no reason to believe that Don Draper's entire life would be free of African Americans or issues about African Americans.

Also, political campaiging amongst the monied set, as well as politicians seeking advertising expertise, would have intersected Draper's professional life at some point.

Nothing about Mad Men's mise en scene or alleged thematic preoccupations requires whitewashing.
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Old April 21 2013, 08:39 AM   #42
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Here's the thing:

While Mad Men is a series about Don Draper and an ad agency (in that any of the principle characters can be connected to the former or the latter), it's more than willing to follow these characters around. We go into the homes and off-hour lives of many members of SCDP's staff, have plot threads that reveal things about them, and the show's shown a willingness to shake up the supporting cast that it uses in this manner, dismissing some characters even as it elevates others.

There really is no reason why they couldn't do a story about Don (the secretary) if they wanted to. It doesn't require the series to present SDPC any more tolerantly than it does, but this occurs to me as one particularly obvious point of entry that Mad Men could have an episode that brought in more black characters - Don's home life, her relationships, friends, family, etc.
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Old April 22 2013, 09:15 PM   #43
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

Kegg wrote: View Post
There really is no reason why they couldn't do a story about Don (the secretary) if they wanted to. It doesn't require the series to present SDPC any more tolerantly than it does, but this occurs to me as one particularly obvious point of entry that Mad Men could have an episode that brought in more black characters - Don's home life, her relationships, friends, family, etc.
First: It's Dawn, not Don.

Second:


But, beyond that, can't we give Matt Weiner the benefit of the doubt in assuming that this was a deliberate choice with no malicious intent? The series begins in March of 1960, it's more 50's than 60's. By season 6 we're into 1968, SCDP has a woman partner, no one bats an eye at a woman on Don's creative team, Roger has married -and divorced- a Jewish woman, and Don has an African American secretary. These are great changes, and remarkable when one goes back to watch the early episodes, but they wouldn't have been nearly so significant if Matt Weiner had chosen to portray the office as more diverse from the start.
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Old April 22 2013, 09:41 PM   #44
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

stj wrote: View Post
Perhaps it is worth repeating that there is no reason to believe that Don Draper's entire life would be free of African Americans or issues about African Americans.

Also, political campaiging amongst the monied set, as well as politicians seeking advertising expertise, would have intersected Draper's professional life at some point.

Nothing about Mad Men's mise en scene or alleged thematic preoccupations requires whitewashing.
Off the top of my head, I think there is a scene where Don hears King's "I have a dream" speech and turns it off as he's not interested.
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Old April 22 2013, 11:01 PM   #45
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Re: Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes, by Erika Alexander

That must be the freakishly annoying thing about gay sex, locking onto someone attractive, you're in the early processes of figuring out how to tap that, when you discover that they have exactly the same name as you do. Sure very rarely it happens that Chris and Chris or Sam and Sam are a boy/girl pairing but this has to be a real and constant problem with the gays because at the high point of sexual ecstasy... Who wants to passionately scream out their own name?
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