78k: Cicely Tyson / Talking Heads
[FADE IN on the “BLACK PERSPECTIVE” logo as African drum music from “Roots” plays in the background. FADE to Garrett Morris in the host’s chair.]
Garrett: Good evening. Welcome to “Black Perspective.” I’m your host, Garrett Morris. Tonight we’re going to be discussing role models... with our guest, Cicely Tyson, who, as a DOUBLE Emmy Award-winning actress, is herself a most positive role model for young blacks. Good evening, Cicely.
Cicely: Good evening, Garrett. Thank you. [smiles] It is true that I try through my work, I mean, through the parts that I choose, to show that, uh, the black women has [sic] been a strong, positive figure throughout American history, yes.
Garrett: Well, certainly your portrayals of, uh, Jane Pittman, and Harriet Tubman, running the Underground Railroad--and right on to THAT--uh, have demonstrated the courage, the determination of the black woman throughout our history. But, now, Hollywood wasn’t always that kind to the black woman, was it?
Cicely: [laughing] Oh, no.
Garrett: Tell me.
Cicely: It certainly was not, Garrett.
Cicely: Uh, until just a few years ago, the only parts available to black actresses have been those of maids. You very well know that.
Cicely: For a while, I... [snickers] I mean, I grew up believing that white people didn’t know how to pick up after themselves. [laughter] Of course, now I know SEVERAL self-sufficient whites.
Garrett: [laughs] Cicely, Cicely, uh, um, I know a few too.
Cicely: [giggling] I’m sure you do!
Garrett: Yeah. Uh... Cicely, now, now, look. You tell us: why do you think that Hollywood, until recently, refused to offer positive role models to the black woman? I mean... why?
Cicely: Well... I think... Garrett, I think until recently, this was a man’s society.
Cicely: And, um, an ethnic group or race was really judged by its men.
Cicely: So what I think happened was that... the black woman... has just gotten a raw deal because black man has always been such a loser.
[HOLD on a closeup of Garrett glaring icily at her.]
Garrett: Say WHAT?
Cicely: I mean, you are all so shiftless, and lazy--I mean, just TOO shiftless and TOO lazy to get anywhere!
Garrett: Wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait a minute, uh, Cicely, I’m not sure I understand what you’re sayin’, now. Could you...
Cicely: It’s not complicated at ALL, Garrett. It is very simple.
Garrett: Well, break it down for me, will you?
Cicely: I mean, it’s very simple. Black men just RUINED it for black women. I mean, you were always busy gettin’ high, pimpin’, tryin’ to prove your manhood by fightin’, and stealin’, and wheelin’, and dealin’, instead of studying like the Jewish men!
Garrett: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh... uhhhhhhhhh...
Cicely: I mean, do you think that Barbra Streisand has any difficulty getting parts?
Garrett: Well, now, listen, bitch. Uh...
Cicely: [enraged] GARRETT!! [starts to rise from chair] I mean, that’s what WRONG with you black men!!
Garrett: [holds up hands] Joke! Joke!
Cicely: I don’t talk that way!
Garrett: Cicely, you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen in my life!
Cicely: Oh, man, don’t give me that!!
Garrett: The avenues for the white man...
Cicely: I don’t need you to tell me about my eyes!
Garrett: ...have been traditionally closed to black men, now, you know that!
Cicely: Hey, listen! You all fall back on that old story all the time! It’s old, it’s cliched--forget it! The black man just never got himself together--and that’s all there is to it! I mean, look what you all did to Detroit! That USED to be a NICE town!
[laughter and applause]
Garrett: Well, now, come to think of it, my daddy WAS a little shiftless, you know.
Garrett: Well, I wish I could continue with this, but we’re out of TIME. Uh, tune in next week... [Cicely begins to stand up and gets into his shot] ...when we talk to former Senator Edward Brooks about his perjured testimony in his divorce proceedings, AND now stay tuned to “The World at War,” starring Richard Burton. [points finger at Cicely] Now, you know I never...
Cicely: We’re really out of time!
Garrett: Cicely, will you let me say something?
[As they continue arguing, ZOOM in on the “Black Perspective” logo on the wall above them. “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the Temptations is heard playing. FADE to black.]
Submitted by: Sean