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Brando: Racial Trouble in “New York, West, East, and South”

Aug. 23, 1963 - Four movie actors led by Marlon Brando defended their right to help fight for racial equality in the South today, but tempered their statement with criticism of “hypocrisy” in other parts of the nation. The Hollywood celebrities in Gadsden, Ala., denied a charge of “rabble-rousing” by Mayor Lesley Gilliland and insisted they came to Gadsden with the best of intentions. Brando, who since is arrival in Gadsden Friday night has acted as spokesman for the group, told newsmen: “We are here as devoted and peaceful representatives of goodwill, not as agitators, interlopers, or interferers.” They sought to confer with the Mayor and other officials in what they described as an attempt to establish workable communications between the two races in the racially troubled city. But Gilliland refused to talk to them and warned that if they violated the law, they would go to jail. The four actors — Brando, Paul Newman, Anthony Franciosa, and William Frye — left Gadsden today. Before departing, Brando told newsmen that while no one can deny racial discrimination in the South, “we have trouble in New York, in the West, the East and the South.”


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