When Betty White was in her early 30s, she found her own eponymous variety show… White hired a young black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, to host and produce the performance. This wouldn’t be a big deal these days. But that was 1954, and racial inequality still existed. At 21, Duncan finally had a big hit on a television show that airs across the country. But racist audiences were furious that an experienced dancer was given a chance. But White refused to back down.
Duncan talks about scandal in 2018 documentary Betty White: First Lady of Television… “This is the first TV show I’ve ever been on and I thank Betty White for really helping me get started in show business, on television,” he said. “And there was all this noise all over the South.”
Betty White told them to “live with it”
White also recalled the incident and recounted it in the documentary. “They were going to end our show on air if we didn’t get rid of Arthur because he was Black.”
“People in the South resented my being on the show and wanted to be kicked out,” Duncan agreed. “But there were never any questions.”
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, but he will stay,” White said. “Live with it.” The show was eventually canceled after 14 episodes.
After White’s death yesterday, her strong convictions were fondly remembered again.
Betty White was a national treasure
“Let’s not forget that in 1954, The Betty White Show was canceled shortly after she received backlash for her refusal to cancel Arthur Duncan’s black tap dance. Instead, she extended its airtime and responded to the racists, “I’m sorry. Live with it. ” ‘”one person wrote on the net.
“Betty White has struggled with racism for nearly her entire career. For this, the world has become a better place. Be like Betty White, ”added the second.
“I have loved Betty White since I saw the Golden Girls as a child. I grew to love her even more when I learned that she confronted racists on her entertainment show decades ago. It will always be a national treasure, ”commented a third.
Betty White dies of natural causes
The Emmy-winning actress has a career spanning over 80 years. She is believed to have died of natural causes at her home on Friday morning. TMZ confirmed. Police were seen at White’s home, investigating her death as a matter of procedure. A black coroner’s van was also seen leaving her home, as authorities confirmed there was no “foul play” with White’s death.
December 28th she tweeted her last message: “My 100th Anniversary … I can’t believe he’s coming soon and People magazine is celebrating with me! The new @People will be available on newsstands across the country tomorrow. ”
Next: Betty White Didn’t Need Children Of Her Own To Create A Legacy
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