Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Censored Rod Serling

Rod Serling's decision to make The Twilight Zone was influenced by the fact that his attempts to tackle controversial issues in realistic drama were thwarted. An interesting article, here. Serling wrote a radio drama based on the notorious lynching of Emmett Till, but commercial sponsors - the effective censors of network TV in the Fifties - vetoed it.
Soon after the trial concluded, Serling, riding off the success of his most well-received teleplay to date, felt compelled write a teleplay around the racism that led to Till’s murder. But the censorship that followed by advertisers and networks, fearful of blowback from white, Southern audiences, forced Serling to rethink his approach. His response, ultimately, was “The Twilight Zone,” the iconic anthology series that spoke truth to the era’s social ills and tackled themes of prejudice, bigotry, nuclear fears, war, among so many others.
With Jordan Peele's relaunched TZ in the offing, it's an interesting read.

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