Friday, December 19, 2014

Mae West: Skittish Over Skit

MAE WEST found herself in the center of a storm in mid-December 1937.  No one could shovel fast enough to clear a path. Then the FCC got into it. Mae did not write the skit, however.  Arch Obler wrote it (though he was never named nor scolded).
• • "FCC Wants Copy of Mae West's Eve Skit" • •
• • WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 — [UP] — The federal communications commission ordered the National Broadcasting company tonight to submit a copy of Mae West's Adam and Eve broadcast of last Sunday night.
• • Asserting it had received letters protesting the skit was profane, indecent and insulting to the American people, the commission said it had not prejudiced the matter but would reserve judgment until it had the facts.
• • The order was contained in a letter from Chairman Frank R. McNinch to Lenox R. Lohr, president of NBC.  McNinch told Lohr that under the law the commission had no right to censor broadcasts, but called attention to a section forbidding utterance of obscene, indecent or profane language by radio. The commission, McNinch said, is charged with enforcement of the law.
• • Every person holding a radio station license has the legal as well as moral duty and obligation to protect the public from offensive broadcasts, McNinch wrote.
• • Article by United Press rpt in The Daily Illini; published on Sunday, 19 December 1937.
• • On Sunday, 19 December 1936 in Picturegoer • •
• • Picturegoer's issue for the week of 19 December 1936 featured these three: Mae West, Merle Oberon, Alfred Hitchcock.
• • Picturegoer was a magazine published in the United Kingdom between 1913 — 1960. Its primary focus was on contemporary films and the performers who appeared in them. During the silent film era, it started as a weekly movie review, then evolved into a weekly listing of films being shown at UK cinema houses when talkies became popular. Eventually, it became a bi-weekly movie magazine featuring the screen's biggest stars that was sold at all movie theaters in the UK.
• • On Sunday, 19 December 1937 • •
• • Forbidden fruit, unlawful carnal knowledge, the serpent in the garden — — and maybe the real "snake" all along was the self-righteous head of the purity police, the Catholic League.
• • NBC Chairman Frank R. McNinch was still dealing with the fallout after Mae West's appearance on his network. The FCC took the position that, though it had no power to censor radio guests, NBC had a moral duty to shield its listeners from offensiveness. An article about the outraged public outcry and protest letters that NBC had received over the Mae West Biblical skit on radio was published in The Sunday Morning Herald in Washington, DC on Sunday, 19 December 1937.
• • Eventually, NBC would ban Mae for 15 years over this curious flapdoodle.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Hollywood — "Belle of the Nineties," starring Mae West, has a "beef trust" chorus and a choir of 100 voices.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "We must do all that only and exclusively with the eyes."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Australia's Sunday Times mentioned Mae West.
• • "Says Mae" • •
• • NEW YORK, Saturday.  To celebrate the completion of her last picture, Mae West has given director Edward Sutherland a gold watch case inscribed "Come up and see me sometime, and I'll give you the works."  . . .
• • Source: Item in Sunday Times (Perth); published on Sunday, 19 December 1937
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. Yesterday we entertained 1,430 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3074th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West in 1937

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