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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. The first story documents the heterogeneous perspectives of a generation of progressive women who had been…

Sometimes, getting on the television blacklist came down to having supported an event in the past, often many years ago.

Thirteen of the Broadcast 41--Dorothy Parker, Lisa Sergio, Gale Sondergaard, Stella Adler, Edith Atwater, Shirley Graham, Uta Hagen, Lillian Hellman, Rose Hobart, Judy Holliday, Helen Tamiris, Hilda Vaughn, Fredi Washington--were listed as sponsors for the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace, held in March 1949 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City that included five delegates from the Soviet Union, one of whom was composer Dmitry…

Had a great conversation with Kurt Anderson about the Broadcast 41--lots of terrific clips of their work, thanks to the hard work of Zoe Saunders and others on the show. You can listen to it here.