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Tv Politics

May 25, 1986

Garrett is correct in pointing out the self-censorship that so many in our ranks (I include myself with the writers) practice everyday. While writing on the series "Benson," my partner Rob Dames and I faced every one of her examples more than once.

We did an entire show based on Benson's disagreement with the Administration's cost cutting for social programs, despite nervous meetings with network people. We spent four years arguing the case for a show we finally made that dealt with the human cost of the Bomb.

We presented an upwardly mobile, intelligent, middle-class black professional that "they" wanted to remain a butler. It was seven years of arguing, cajoling, threatening, pleading, wheedling, crying and bullying.

That's my point. And, I think, Garrett's. It is the responsibility of those of us who make these "entertainments" for "them" to sell to the "public" to present our most firmly held beliefs and dreams. And "fight," with all our energy, to preserve the right to do so. If we don't, it will be taken from us . . . that is a political reality.

One bit of advice: If you're a big hit . . . go right to bullying.


Producer, "Benson"


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