Christmas Eve in 1937 — — and there was a lot more fire coming down the chimney than MAE WEST had seen before. Brimstone-breathing dragons at NBC had taken the unusual steps of promising to ban the name of a movie actress from the airwaves, something that had never been done before.
• • "NBC Bans the Name of Mae West from the Airwaves" • •
• • "Joking References to Adam-Eve Skit are Barred" • •
• • NEW YORK, Dec. 23. [AP] Word went out from the National Broadcasting Company today to keep the name of Mae West out of all programs over which it has control. Issued privately to 16 stations, in 12 cities, the order was designed to forestall any joking references that might be made to the widely discussed Adam and Eve sketch broadcast from Hollywood on December 12th. Although not made public, it was understood the inter-station communique said in effect: Please watch scripts for any mention of Mae West's name and keep it out.
• • Apologies Made • •
• • An exception probably would be made in the event Miss West figured in a news broadcast. The sketch, in which the buxom actress made one of her infrequent radio appearances, aroused a storm of criticism, particularly from religious groups, and provoked talk in congress of tighter radio regulations.
• • Public apologies were issued by President Lenox R. Lohr of NBC, by the coffee company which sponsored the program, and by the sponsor's advertising agents to anyone who might have been offended by the skit.
• • It Was a Mistake • •
• • "It was a mistake," the advertising agents said, and we can assure the public at large that the same mistake will not be made again. Today's action by NBC apparently was taken as a double check against any repetition of the incident.
• • Efforts to reach Miss West at her Hollywood apartment brought the statement from a friend that she isn't speaking to anyone about that.
• • NBC officials recalled that they had taken similar precautions against quips about the Duke of Windsor following his abdication, but they could not remember ever having banned the name of a movie actress before.
• • As a result of the protests against the Adam and Eve sketch, the federal communications commission in Washington called for complete information about the program. This has been supplied by NBC.
• • Source: Associated Press coverage rpt in The Daily Illini, published on Friday, 24 December 1937.
• • On Friday, 24 December 1999 • •
• • A theatre review of a New York City revival of the play "Sex" by Mae West ran in The New York Times on Friday, 24 December 1999 under this title: "Mae West's First Play (for the Stage, That Is)" and the drama critic seemed satisfied. Byline was given as D.J. R. Bruckner.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is to do a modernized version of "Du Barry," from a story now being developed by the William Le Baron unit. The story will not conflict with the Warner Brothers production of "Du Barry," starring Dolores Del Rio. The idea is to have Miss West play her famous character of Diamond Lil, who has visions of herself as the famous French woman. . . .
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I have never been away, so this 'Myra' picture is no comeback. I have just been waiting for the right role."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Australian papers mentioned Mae West and Hitler.
• • "Hitler and Mae West — — A Broadcast Cancelled" • •
• • The West Australian printed this explanation: Melbourne, December 23 — At the request of the Vice-Consul for Germany (Dr. M. Koeltzsch), an imaginary conversation between Herr Hitler and Miss Mae West (the American film star) was not broadcast over the national network on Saturday night, as had been arranged. 'The proposed item was a brief sketch of the type often given on the vaudeville stage,' the Victorian manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (Mr. T. W. Bearup) said today. 'We did not believe anyone could take exception to it, but we cancelled it in deference to the wish of the German Consul.'
• • The proposed item was a brief sketch of the type often given on the vaudeville stage . . .
• • Source: Item in The West Australian (Perth); published on Tuesday, 24 December 1935
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank
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• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3077th blog post.
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