This show fell victim to the historical times when the struggle for true civil rights for people of all colors in the US made networks and poltical groups ultra-sensitive to anything that even seemed racist...Advertisers hate controversy.
Black stage shows, movie stars and TV shows once deemed OK were now denounced as 'racist' and as promoting racial stereotypes. Some did but I believe that Amos n Andy did not (although the original radio program/movie with 'black-face' white actors playing the leads was another matter). If you pay attention to the overall layout of this program it portrays something unheard of on american TV. A world populated by mostly well educated, well spoken, black professionals. We are shown doctors, lawyers, bankers, businessmen and just plain everyday people whose race was just a sidenote as they were portrayed as normal intelligent people who found Andy & the Kingfish just as odd/buffoonish as white america did.. Even Amos, the cab driver, always came across as intelligent and above the antics of his friends. The most stereotypical character was 'Lightnin', the "Stephen Fetchit" clone who was slow talking, slow moving, slow thinking. Algonquin J. Calhoun was more insulting to lawyers than blacks. This show in different times would have been seen for the farce it was. It should have been seen as no more offensive to the black community than Gomer Pyle was to the white community BUT even the slightest resemblance to racism was enough. I do not agree but I do understand. What I do NOT understand is why this show does not join the scores of other 'classic' old TV shows we now see in constant reruns. It is STILL very funny. Many modern shows and movies portray african-americans far worse than this show ever did (and are not half as good)...
Here is the Original NAACP note:
August 15, 1951 1. "It tends to strengthen the conclusion among uninformed and prejudiced people that Negroes are inferior, lazy, dumb and dishonest.
2. Every character in this one and only TV show with an all Negro cast is either a clown or a crook.
3. Negro doctors are shown as quacks and thieves.
4. Negro lawyers are shown as slippery cowards, ignorant of their profession and without ethics.
5. Negro Women are shown as cackling, screaming shrews, in big mouthed close-ups, using street slang, just short of vulgarity
6. All Negroes are shown as dodging work of any kind.
7. Millions of white Americans see this Amos 'n' Andy picture of Negroes and think the entire race is the same."
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