Monday, September 20, 2010
7989: Mad Men Mention.
The latest episode of AMC series Mad Men stumbled into race-based topics.
Peggy Olson and Abe, a liberal dude she met at a party in a previous episode, held a clumsy conversation about civil rights. It started when the guy criticized one of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s clients for being racist and refusing to hire Negroes. During the debate, Peggy related her trials and tribulations as a woman to the plight of Negroes. When the man pointed out that there were no Negro copywriters on Madison Avenue, Peggy insisted they could succeed by pushing like she did.
After a dinner date, Roger Sterling and Joan Harris were robbed at gunpoint by a Black man. That ought to kill all chances of the agency recruiting a minority anytime soon.
Later in a meeting, Peggy openly questioned the client’s racist hiring practices. Don Draper lectured her that the agency’s only responsibility was helping clients sell products and services—and Ken Cosgrove made a joke that involved Sammy Davis, Jr. Of course, no one questioned the agency’s racist hiring practices.