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Thread: Dick Clark banned gay dancers and racial intergration from American Bandstand

  1. #1
    mjw
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    Default Dick Clark banned gay dancers and racial intergration from American Bandstand

    Frank Brancaccio and Eddie Kelly, two gay former American Bandstand dancers tell the National Enquirer that late host Dick Clark had his producers conduct "witch hunts" to "purge gays from the ranks."


    BrancaccioClark had his aides comb Philadelphia’s gay hangouts – and if any of the show’s teens were discovered as being openly gay, the horrified host would banish them!


    Handsome gay 14- to 17-year old males who helped popularize dance crazes like the Slop, the Continental, the Fly and the Hitchhike could stay on “Bandstand” as long as they looked straight. But any open hint of homosexuality got them kicked out the door – and the teens knew it in no uncertain terms.


    [“Bandstand” regular, Eddie] Kelly revealed, “Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse square was known as a meeting place for homosexuals. If you were seen in the square, you couldn’t go on ‘Bandstand.’ So most of us really stayed away.”


    But his same-sex secret actually made Brancaccio start going to the show when he was 14 years old!


    Kelly: “I went to ‘Bandstand’ because I was gay and I was a misfit in my neighborhood. I lived in very tough South Philadelphia,” he says. “I’d see these kids dancing and instinctively I knew I could fit in with them. I went to coffee shops, but I also hung out in Rittenhouse Square and so did many of the dancers. It was no secret. When I used to walk down the streets of Philadelphia and be recognized, I’d be called a ‘Bandstand f*****.’”


    The dancers add:


    “A high percentage of the popular ‘regulars’ were gay,” declares Brancaccio, now 72 years old and openly homosexual.


    And another “Bandstand” regular, Eddie Kelly, confirms, “It’s true. now it’s out and it’s good. 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 homophobia wasn’t the only issue Clark was confronting in the late 1950s and early ’60s.


    He did NOT want the show integrated before it moved to Los Angeles in 1964 – even though he gave the notion lip service.


    Says an insider, “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.”


    To Clark, blacks didn’t represent the all- American boy or girl next door during the era, which was marked by the civil rights movement.


    He made sure African-Americans wouldn’t feel comfortable in the studio, insiders say.


    “Clark wanted NO integration,” says Brancaccio. And Kelly says he never saw a black person dance with a white person. He also remembers only two black couples appearing during the years he was on “Bandstand.”


    The insiders say a system was created to shunt aside black teens, who early on outnumbered white kids as they lined up for a chance to appear on the show.


    White dancers would always get in first with special membership cards, the insiders say. if a couple of black guys did get in, they could only sit in the stands because there were no black girls for them to dance with. Clark’s concession to racial equality was to allow wildly popular black artists to appear on the show – and help boost his ratings.


    “Clark was out for Clark,” says Brancaccio. “He was a brilliant man. BUT he was out for Clark.”


    American Bandstand went off the air 25 years ago in 1989. Clark continued a successful entertainment career but died of a massive heart attack in April 2012 at age 82.



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    Read more at ONTD: Oh No They Didn't! - Dick Clark banned gay dancers and racial intergration from American Bandstand

  2. #2
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Not shocking at all - he was a product of those times.
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    Why wait until he was dead to bring this up?
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not have a single gay-themed float at ANY of his four inauguration parades.
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    The Beatles was a band with FOUR WHITE GUYS!
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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I still think it's pretty shitty. Too bad Clark couldn't have been a pioneer in this area, he could have had a huge influence.
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    I've heard stories about Clark's aggressiveness and avarice for years. He had that nice-guy persona on TV, but it was totally an act. So this is disappointing, but not surprising. Especially when I have memories of him on AB schmoozing with black entertainers and gay ones like Sylvester and Elton John. Maybe he was a product of the times, but he was still an asshole.
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    *points at Bitter* Yup, what he said.

    It's funny; I always thought this was the deal with American Bandstand, even when I was a kid. I literally assumed that Soul Train was where black people were allowed to dance. And it's why I didn't like American Bandstand. So there, "DICK".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    I still think it's pretty shitty. Too bad Clark couldn't have been a pioneer in this area, he could have had a huge influence.
    Exactly. Instead of having a big influence on race and tolerance he chose to look out for number one. Not surprising, but he could've really accomplished something, as Bandstand was so popular in its day.
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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathie_Moffett View Post
    *points at Bitter* Yup, what he said.

    It's funny; I always thought this was the deal with American Bandstand, even when I was a kid. I literally assumed that Soul Train was where black people were allowed to dance. And it's why I didn't like American Bandstand. So there, "DICK".
    Soul Train was the SHIT!!! Black entertainers, black dancers, even the commercials were geared toward the black American audience. I knew I was gay when even as a young-un I obsessed over those Natalie Cole Posner lipstick commercials.
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    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    I always thought AB sucked. To learn great dance moves and hear great music my friends and I watched Soul Train or a local show in Detroit called The Scene. Remember that one, Brookie?
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    Elite Member Palermo's Avatar
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    I grew up in Detroit, only watched Soul Train and wouldn't be caught dead watching American Bandstand, too corny for me
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  13. #13
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Vaguely. I rarely watched "Bandstand" either, just wasn't my thing.
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