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tv   History of the Sitcom  CNN  July 11, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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that's so cool. anne hathaway stood up for us mexicans . i am not obsessed with sex. it is called i am thinking about sex. >> sexuality have come along way in sitcom history. >> can you donate a penis to a person that's transitioning? >> haltom city great way to deal with a tricky world. >> sitcoms talk about sex. >> my underwear? >> bad relationships. >> i am breaking up with him tonight. >> these shows change the way we think about sexuality.
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>> you are talking about gay rights. >> she knows sexual revolution. >> i have to get married or moved? >> if you can make them laugh then oh maybe we'll watch it again. >> anything and everything, let's get our sex talk on. >> oh, mom covered it all pretty good. >> maybe about the birds and the bees, but i am your daddy, i am here to keep it 100. despite the fact that your mom thinks i am up entightuptight, right? >> i want to go home in my own room and sleep.
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i don't want another beer. >> would you like another beer. >> oh yeah. >> it is always been from like the straight, white man's point of view. >> i remember early sitcoms, i saw a mother, a wife in a cocktail dress all day long. we sit there going who the hell are these people? >> it was as denial of reality. >> ethel, we are going to have a baby. >> we got to see a regpregnant woman on television, wearing a dress started frzom the neck. >> as if we didn't all come from a pregnant woman. >> in the '60s, sitcoms were stuck into the 1960s suburban housewives mentality. we see tv trying to address the gender war that was coming.
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>> i definitely think "i dream of jeanie" is an escape for many people. >> when you have magic, you can do a lot of things. >> what are you reading? >> i am reading a squirrel. the e mancipation of modern women. >> what does it mean? >> oh, you don't have to worry about things like that. >> you have this character who's the epiphany of male fantasy. >> i want to understand your way of life so i can please you. >> well, you please me very
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much. you are perfect. >> there is an episode called the americanization of jeanie, where she dips her toes into the waters of female liberation. >> i have been studying the e man sl emancipation of women. >> i thought you got so caught up that you forgot to do house work, right? >> i didn't forget, i thought i let you do it? >> me? >> tony does not find it attractive. he's turned off by it. >> your behavior this evening is disgraceful. >> let me tell you one more thing. >> sitcom television has changed at the time but it was a lot more commonality than jeannie and her maester. a lot going on.
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>> you have this interesting moment because in the real world, the women liberation movement is pushing female equalitiy further than it ever been. >> these magical powers. >> that's the real you are kind of transformed to shows like that girl where power does not have to be magical. >> anything else you can do? >> well, there are 4,000 thing to do around here that i can do all myself. >> that's my girl. that girl. with her crunchy voice and her cute face and her hair. >> you had marlow thomas as really one of the first females independent self-employed career
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women. >> the premise was a young girl that wanted to be somebody. >> how would you like to be somebody? >> an actress? >> that was what made it earth shattering at the time. >> we have not seen a girl with a dream. >> people actually recognize me in the subway coming home. >> anne-mary, girl television star. >> we were really -- we could not even appear to be having sex. >> we better go to the next room and talk. >> anything you say to me, you can say in front of my plant. >> it was all happening ton street but not on television.
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standard of practice watched us like hawks. >> they were married and had to sleep in separate beds. donald went home, yes, it was the time of free love. it was the time of woodstock. it had nothing to do with our society. >> i remember why i broke off with howard. >> mary tyler moore was so massive to me. having her job and dealing with like all of these men. >> i have been dating since i was 17. i am 37. that's two decades of dating. >> mary richard was actually having sex. what you got is women not
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embarrassed to have a husband to take care of them and had to stay home. that made a statement. >> didn't they used to call that being married? >> we started filming "mud" of july of '72 and roe v. wade had passed. so abortion was a big issue for me. >> the episode of abortion aired in november of '22 as a two parter. >> mother, i don't understand your hesitancy when they made it a law? >> of course, i was not pregnant then. >> there were stations all throughout the country.
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lbgtq representation is important because we are all in this together. you can't leave it out anymore. the history of lbgtq characters of sitcom is similar to the lbgtq people in america. they were always there but they had to be hidden. >> don't you get it dumb, dumb?
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>> this beautiful daughter of yours? >> you had people who were essentially seeing themselves depicted on screen but not all the way. >> what are you doing in there? >> i have been praying. >> uncle arthur gives off the energy. oh, look at that cookie odd ball, i hope he has a wife that love him very much. >> a routine police raid on a gay bar. >> the wild insurrection would enter history as the birthday of the gay liberation movement. >> in the '60s and '70s, you see
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an explosion of fighting for rights of clear liberation. >> the credit of the many people who worked with him. they put people with lbgtq identity on television and treat them as characters and not punch lines. >> we have not seen a gay kyle clark, why have we seen a gay character? > >> they exist. >> may son-in-law is tinker bell. >> hi, mr. bunker. >> they bring their own stories to families all the type. >> you try to tell me that steve is -- i would not want my place. >> he thinks you are j just - can't even say it, steve.
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>> these shows were changing the way we think about clearness and utterness. >> he's here. ? 1977, we got a ground breaking episode of the jeffersons titled "once a friend." >> it is me, eddie. only i am eating now. >> george can't wait for eddie to come to town, his best friend. when eddie comes to town and eddie is edy. take a good look.
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representation matters because if you know and like this person, that's fictional, how can you not know and like this person in your real life? >> when we were younger, i used to hate you, you used to steal my clothes. >> why do you people drink? >> you mean new yorkers? >> no, homos. >> there was something very delicious about the gayness of billy crystal character. it was like mainstream television. >> wow, this is happening and this is actually real. >> if you look back at it right now, there were moments that was sensitive, it was an important character. >> you hate me because i am gay, right? >> well, i guess if you need a reason, that's a good one.
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>> it is a terrible reason. look at me. i am a person. >> you don't look gay. >> i am still me. >> with that said, that show kind of didn't know it was suing. >> now i am finally used to be -- homosexual. >> you are going to get a sex change and be a girl? >> the use of stereotype like jodi, it creates a sense of what is funny about me is that i am diluted and i should sort of glom back onto society. >> now people are more open to trans identity.
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transparent is an interesting case. they were telling a story about their own parent who had come out as trans to them. >> i had major understanding about transness and the learning curve i had to go onto understand oh, these are two cross-dressers are and they're not the same as drag queens or trans women. >> all my kids, you can see me most clearly. the family was trying to understand moira. it felt like therapy. >> people can build a better world together. i appreciate it on that normal. it normalized a lot of these concepts. >> my whole life i had been
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dressing up like a man. >> jeffery was a man who was dressing up as a trans woman kind of dangerous actually. there is danger out in the world for trans women where if they want to use the women's restroom. somebody thinks they are quote on quote "faking it." ultimately, i do think it made transness one of the things that somebody in the family could be and life goes on. >> it creates a sense of abnormality. >> oh, hello girls. come on in, girls. >> it is nice to see you, girls. >> hi guys. >> a man dressing as a woman in
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1982 is not at all a man dressing as a woman in our culture today. >> i feel like completely a different kind of man. >> the jack lemon tony curtis movie. >> we can point as the use of drag as a kourtney tcomedic dev. >>. >> are you two farm girls? >> i mean you are really big. >> throughout the years a lot of gay characters were people that were created by primarily heterosexual to be a laugh line. >> what are you doing? >> i am loosening up my wrists. >> didn't know you guys had a practice.
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>> that's how you say gay. >> hello jack. >> it was kind of a terrible show and boy did you want to be around them. >> nobody is trying to hurt anybody, we are trying to make you feel good. you are allowing this man to say one thing but he's not. hearing those words on television was important at the time. he's willing to become a part of the community that was the
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other. "three companies" emerged at a time that america was saying i don't want sex to be a taboo subject anymore. >> that's a lovely mole you got on your thigh. >> two girls and a guy living in an apartment and the landlord is okay with it because he thinks john ritters' character is gay. >> it is such a perfect '70s in terms of sexualism. >> i had been walking behind you since you were walking off the bus. >> why didn't you say anything? >> i was enjoying the rear. >> you can do it. you can do it. >> the way christie snow became queen of the jiggle was in that first year. >> chrissy got so excited and
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jumped back and forth and that's when boobs were real. the writer would add the line and chrissy jumps for joy. >> it was a sign that america might have been burnt out on the social issues. we had been through the vietnam war and it only recently ended. >> my era was the era of losing friends going to funerals so maybe this was the comic relief we needed. >> "three companies" was a massive hit out of the box. >> i was watching these kyle clarks that i was scared of who i was. i can look back at them and have a certain fondness and even though they were coated, it was something i think is really important. >> good night.
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you would have to be brain dead not to. no, monroe was gay. i was in the closet and i was terrified that it would ruin my career and then in 1985, i discovered that i was hiv positive. there was really no treatment for it, i was terrified. and along the ride, you'll have many questions. challenges. and a few surprises.
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i think being gay was admitting to someone that you could have aids. ultimately we didn't see many lbgtq characters in sitcoms and the '80s for most lbgtq communities. it was as very dark time. >> seems like you had a transfusion while you were there. the blood may have contained hiv antibodies. >> wait a minute. >> you are talking about aids. >> "the golden girls" being about older character gave the women how the women react to important issues. >> why does this happen to me? this is not supposed to happen to people like me.
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>> you must gone to bed hundreds of men. >> aids is not bad and not god punishing people with sins. >> you are right. >> "the golden girls" were able to deliver that message because of who they were. >> when we see these moments, because there is activists trying to normalize and humanize folks who have not been humanized for so long. >> my father's gay. >> you got the outing. >> just because you two are homosexual, so what? >> the premise of that show was the journalist -- jerry and george were gay lover. >> what did you think of this shirt? >> it is nice.
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>> jerry said he didn't like it. >> the minute we understood that was the impression we were giving. we went into over dry to prove to her that was the furthest thing. >> look, it was a joke. >> you want to have sex with me right now. >> it is not true. it is not true. >> not that anything is wrong with us. >> the more we see things, the more we normalize those things become. >> hello. >> whether it is sexuality or gender diversity. we got put it out there. >> how about your boyfriend, mr. feel this. >> throughout the '90s. the gay community started making baby steps. >> when ellen came on the air,
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there was no lbgtq representation at all. >> ellen show did not start with a show about -- it was ab about -- ellen wanted to he will the truth and have her character do so. ellen, are you coming out or not? >> yes, quit jerking us around and come out already. >> come on. what's the big deal? i got a whole hour. >> i don't think you canover state what was at stake for ellen degeneres in terms of coming out. >> she was having an outstanding career and this pressure cooker had been mounting and her show really was what blew the lid off of it.
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>> susan, i gay. >> ellen morgan came out coincide with ellen's character. >> if tfrs not difficult, i would have done it a long time ago. >> it became a national event. >> it felt so great and loud. >> she must have felt a huge relief. >> i mean she was us. she was america but she just was gay. >> organizations objected to the idea of a gay person coming out on national television. >> sitcom "ellen" is being cancelled after one year the character came out as a gay less
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i don't know. >> you would drop the fire because i am gay. >> i believe the show was so gay. yes. >> the fact that the show didn't continue must have been extremely traumatic. ellen was driven out the industry after that episode. there was a backlash. that threaten to put a chill on development of any more shows with gay characters. you can find an executive who would say look what happened to ellen. discover card i just got my cashback match is this for real? yup! we match all the cash back new card members earn at the end of their first year automatically woo! i got my mo-ney! it's hard to contain yourself isn't it? uh- huh! well let it go! woooo! get a dollar for dollar match at the end of your first year. only from discover.
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that felt so great and it felt so loud. >> ellen played such a formative role in shifting the conversation but there was still a landscape of fear. >> in the '90s, there were gay men and women wanted their stories told. >> we were afraid of alienating an audience. norman leery told us not only it is a good thing to reflect the world we live in but it is wildly successful. so i think what it said is continue be afraid. ♪ this is december of 97.
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i wanted to be anybody on "friends" or "seinfield." oh, when the script arrive, oh, boy, i hope it was for me. >> did you buy anything? >> yeah, i got a great camisole. >> sexting? >> oh, ask me in the morning. >> was it danny? >> yeah. y jealous? >> no, i got my danny. >> did i have nerves about it? 1998? >> yes. >> i had played several gay character in the theater and on television. >> you and grace should get married. >> grace and me? >> when i saw in the page was charming leading man but unapologetically gay man.
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>> honey, i am having an affair, his name is donald. >> i didn't get to be matt lablanc but i knew i can be it with dignity. >> did you know i was gay when you met me? >> the answer was you could not go gay enough. >> ladies and gentlemen, i give you -- >> there was two openly gay men who were different. being gay is not just one thing. >> not as long as you think. >> i think it is a great way for anyone to connect. >> i just can't believe we love it. >> a lot of people out there was like a big fat thank you. >> the network found out, yes, there is an audience for this. >> i think that really changed
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things for people because they fell in love with these characters and they realized well, what's the prejudice. >> i think will and grace did more educating the american public than anything anybody have done. >> can you believe it? >> li love weddings. >> it is not strictly wedding. where are they going for ta honeymoon. >> it is hard to remember now but during the obama administration, barack obama said he was opposed to gay marriage. "modern family" came at the right thiime, right on the heelf "will and grace." >> you just made a little girl very happy. >> yes, i can see that. >> i think a lot of people really love it mitch and cam
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together. it was heartwarming to hear people say my husband is just like mitch or my wife was just like cam. >> all they cared about is raising their daughter well and they love each other. they were sweet to each other. >> this amazing looking guy, i am not amazing. >> really? >> i would not change anything. >> the hearts accepted us before our minds did. why would you not want them to be married? >> jubilation among same-sex marriage supporters as the court clears the way for same-sex marriage to resume in california. >> the whole mitch/cam married was sparked by that supreme court decision. >> mitch was on the security watching and people are celebrating in front of the supreme court. >> can you believe this finally happened. >> "modern family" created this whole new level of comedy that you would not get in a traditional male/female relationship. >> he would like it if i propose to him.
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>> i booked the restaurant from our first date. >> cam. >> oh my gosh. >> and it then with them on the side of the road trying to fix a flat tire. >> yes. it can open up people's minds and people's hearts. >> and i do think that "modern family" could take some credit making america comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage. >> you may now kiss your husband. >> the supreme court recognized the constitution guarantees marriage equality. >> now with shows that are some of the streamers where we are beginning to see stories like the thanksgiving episode from "master of none."
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these creators from the black and brown communities have been given platforms to tell their stories. >> being gay is not something black people love to talk about. >> why? >> some black people think being gay is a choice. when they found out their kids was gay, they trying to figure out what they did wrong. >> ma, i am gay. >> you are what? >> lena wade, winning an emmy, which was her coming out story. that was revolution. >> i have always been gay. >> you don't have to sacrifice anything to still be both entertaining and thought-provoking and spark conversations. >> i am happy for you. kage worr?
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hey pops, how come you never give me the talk? >> i certainly did, what did you think the box of condoms i gave you about?
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>> that's it? the american people collectively are conservative when it comes to issues of sex. >> don't get it all caught up with this dialogue. it is not natural. >> show me one way in the bible where kids talk. we want to be able to laugh anything that scares us or disturbs us. >> i am sure you had sex with my mother which is fine but are you using protection? >> it took a long time. sitcom really opened the door for us being able to tell stories about sex and laugh at them. >> without "three's company," you don't get "golden girls." that's super open about sex and sexuality. >> i think i know you from some where. >> it is possible that we [ bleep ]. >> i think i know you in
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college. >> in the 1990s, we have not seen shows of women being frank of their sex life. >> what i love about hbo was their criteria was quality. >> tell me exactly how he worded it. >> i wanted to explore this way of sex and relationship with the female point of view. >> we have been seeing each other for a couple of weeks, i really like you and tomorrow night, i want us to have anal sex. >> it feels a little funny to call it a sitcom and i think the reason for that is it really pushed a lot of barriers around talking about sex and relationships in ways that sitcom didn't do. >> how big was it? >> fresh pepper. >> my guilty pleasure was "sex and the city." >> you men do not know what we
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deal with down there? >> they don't call ait a job fo nothing. >> i felt naughty watching it. >> there is still a rarity. >> i have not had sex in a year. >> damn, girl, you sure you still open are open for business? >> at the time "sex and the city" were on, being raised not to complain but see the opportunity to pitch girlfriend. >> i got a great house. i don't have anyone to share it with. it was like a network version of "sex and the city" but with four black women in los angeles instead of new york. >> we see how their lives are
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different. >> i am going to tell you what i am going to do to you, big boy. s >> who's your daddy? >> what? >> girlfriend started to deal with subject matter that black women are dealing with from the light and fluffy stuff. >> my friends are perky tonight. >> black women need to be supporting each other and not tearing each other down. >> you are the -- i always wanted to be. >> women in sitcom history have become much more vocal in advocating themselves.
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>> i don't want a picture of your dick. because i live near you. if you want me to look at your dick, i can come over and look ate. >> it was about them finding a way to be a mess. >> nothing was off the table. >> people were shocked at what she was doing. >> it was still a narrow vision of america. it was not the reality of most americans. >> i think your -- is broken. >> insecure centers in on the character and the identity and the culture that shows" sex and the city" and girls had nothing do with it. >> oh, it definitely do. >> for the first time maybe a lot of white people are learning that there are a lot of different ways to be a black woman and millennial black woman. there are a lot of different
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ways to be. >> this is my favorite bed. play back was just revelation. >> it felt dangerous. >> be sure to treat you like a naughty little -- >> sitcoms don't usually feel dangerous. >> fle "flea bag" is restauraunch. "flea bag" was just - she slept with a priest? >> yeah. >> oh. that's intimate. >> it is future caascinating to
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the evolution of female sexuality. you start with beds that had to be separate and you could not say the word pregnant. i had a lot of sex outside of marriage. fast forward to now when we celebrated love and we'll give you an award for it.

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