I just finished watching a tribute to Mary Tyler Moore on CNN. One of the things mentioned was that when the Mary Tyler Moore Show first came on the air in 1970, the pilot was not well-received by the public. People were asking questions: “Why is she single?” “Why isn’t she looking for a husband?” “Why is she wearing pants?” “Why is her friend so mean?” The gender issues that this show addressed in the early 70s might be foreign and surprising to our young people, but they were (are) very real. (The Mary Tyler Moore Show also tackled the issue of race, albeit,
in a far more subtle way with the introduction of John Amos playing Gordy the weatherman.)
However, I want to point out that despite the initial pilot not being well received, the producers decided to take a risk and they went ahead with the series despite objections. And as we know, the Mary Tyler Moore Show not only turned out to be a success, but helped shape the culture with regard to gender issues We MUST have people in POWER and LEADERSHIP who are willing to take CHANCES so that shackles can be broken and that oppressive norms are longer normal. We must have people who are willing to take RISKS and who are willing to put everything on the line so that this world (and in particular this country) can be changed and ALL its citizens are free from tyranny, oppression and poverty.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show not only helped change people’s understanding about gender and race issues, but it produced 3 spin-off shows which did the same. When we take a stand, when we risk everything, when we purpose in our hearts to resist the toxic norms of this world, there will be others who will “spin-off” and reach even more people! Remember, freedom is always worth the risk!