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[Image via Bauer Griffin Online.]
Dick Clark is one of the most beloved icons of American television. But was his American Bandstand a hotbed of sexual and racial discrimination?
That's the claim made some inside sources, including stars of the show!
According to a new report, Mr. Clark made a point of ferreting out any gay regulars and throwing them off the show!
"When I went to Bandstand in 1959, I found most of the males were gay, but that could never have gotten out to the public."
But homosexuality wasn't the only societal taboo Dick supposedly would have none of. According to another insider, interracial coupling was strictly forbidden! The source says:
"There were strict rules to appear on the show. You couldn’t be a camera hog. You couldn’t dance too close, and you couldn’t dance with someone who wasn’t your color."
Dancer Frank Brancaccio backs up the anonymous insider. He says:
"Clark wanted NO integration."
Wow. We're not sure how reliable this is, but if it's true it puts a very ugly face on a grand TV legacy.
Of course, the sad thing we have to remember is that back then, discrimination against gays and interracial couples didn't have to stay in the closet.
Maybe American Bandstand would have lost some viewers if they had openly gay dancers on. Maybe they would have gotten complaints and even been canceled.
But this is what people mean when they talk about being on the wrong side of history.