Now, revisionist cheating has come to mass cultural enterprises, too.
The producers of Pan Am have pulled out all the stops to tell an authentic story of the glamorous jet age of the 60s, but one thing you won’t see on the ABC drama are cigarettes between the fingers of those young and attractive stewardesses.
Producers admitted that ABC-Disney nixed the use of tobacco by key stars like Christina Ricci and Margot Robbie, despite the fact that smoking was de rigueur on flights – and throughout the terminal — in those days. In contrast, cigarettes are featured liberally on AMC’s Mad Men, which also takes place in the ’60s.
There will be background smokers on and off the planes, but no smoking by the glamorous stars. More insidiously, though, racial integration of the sky-lady workforce will be accelerated by years:
Ironically, the drama from Nancy Hult Ganis, who was a former Pan Am stewardess, has already made plans to introduce an African American flight attendant sometime later this season even though the mile-high jobs were exclusively awarded to white women in the early days. The first black stewardess didn’t appear on a flight until the mid-60s, Schlamme admitted.
Putting a racially integrated workforce chronologically ahead of the gains made by the civil rights movement may make casual viewers wonder what all those marches and fuss were about, I suppose. Let’s hope folks don’t rely on Texas schoolbooks for the answers.