There will be a TON of people eulogizing Betty White throughout the Hollywood community in the next couple of days, but I am going to remind everyone of a time when she wasn’t as universally loved.
Nate briefly referenced it when he deftly blogged the unfortunate news before the 99-year-old body was even cold.
In 1954, racial tensions in the US were high… It was during the midst of the American civil rights movement, and White found that to be a perfect time to bring a young black guest onto her variety show, even though she knew it might get the program canceled.
The Betty White Show gave a black guy named Arthur Duncan his big break as a tap dancer and entertainer. Duncan appeared on three episodes and his presence drew immense criticism from white audiences, especially those in Southern states.
After Duncan’s first episode aired, a number of local affiliates threatened to boycott the show if he was not removed. In response to this, Betty gave Duncan even MORE screen time and famously said to her Southern viewership, “I’m sorry. Live with it.”
So on top of the Golden Girl stats you’re about to be inundated with, maybe take a moment to recognize Betty White’s greatest role… A civil rights pioneer with an ironic last name.
Rest In Peace, Whitey.
Take a report.
By coincidence, Betty’s tale was in last week’s Twisted History of Feel Good Stories… Give it a listen if you wanna feel good, or go to our presenting sponsor 3Chi.com and use code TWISTED2021 to feel good with any of their Delta8 products.
Happy New Year.