Rod Serling on Censorship

In 1959, Mike Wallace interviewed Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) about censorship. What he says is eerily relevant today:


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7 Responses to Rod Serling on Censorship

  1. Nancy says:

    This works both ways. I have recently become very involved with bills coming up for vote – something I used to not pay any attention to. Until I realized these bills are passed by politicians that are only listening to their sponsors, i.e. the lobbyists and corporate entities behind the lobbyists. The American people had absolutely no input. So I started calling the Washington offices of my Representatives, signing petitions, and TELLING them how to vote on a specific issue. Actually stating that I wanted Senator Harry Reid to vote no on such and such a bill as a constituent of his state, for instance. What was amazing was how often the tide turned when organized groups made waves – the bigger the waves, the more things went in the opposite direction they were headed. Politicians are self-motivated. If they know, whithout a doubt, they are being watched – they usually vote in their own best interest. After all, donations from a few do not outway the votes of the many. Fundamentalists have always known how this works – squeaky wheels get the grease. Or put in another way – the world is run by those that show up.

  2. Momwithwings says:

    Very interesting to me on two sides, as a writer and as someone who was in Advertising. I worked on McDonald’s.

    As a writer I detest censorship, yet you do and will write a certain way based on your audience.
    As someone in Advertising, if you are writing and the financing is coming from a specific brand, you have to respect their wishes and find a way to work with them. Sometimes that means product placement at different times or suggesting deleting a certain product.
    A big problem with advertising is that it goes out to large audiences. I remember someone commenting on the recent Cheerios Ads., they said that you have to remember that a lot of middle America will dislike these ads. Kudos to Cheerios for keeping the ads.
    What bothers me the most is that obviously a small group complained about, what sounds like a beautiful Lassie episode., and that anyone gave them credence. It is important to show approval as much or more so than disapproval !
    Lastly, I’ve always felt that if you don’t like it, turn the TV off, don’t read the book etc. personal freedoms and rights are what make the USA a great nation. I wish more felt the same way.

  3. It also shows the power of sponsors/advertisers to dictate what can be included in a programme and also how a few can control the many (as in the case of Lassie and the puppies). But censorship is a difficult subject – who should decide what is ‘acceptable’ and what isn’t?

  4. lauren raine says:

    Fabulous! And so true……….couldn’t help shuddering about the notion that so many people found the birth of puppies “obscene” and “sexual”, but had no problem, then or now, with endless stories about murder. Or cyanide gas used in Nazi Germany, as he points out – but censor “gas chambers” because it might remind people of a home appliance. What an intelligent man he was.

    Couldn’t help but notice the ubiquitous cigarette smoke, so much a part of life in the 50’s. That’s changed at least…………