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Brando Speaks on Discrimination in Film Industry

July 13, 1963 - Actor Marlon Brando (pictured at a sit-in in Sacramento last month) told a civil rights meeting in Los Angeles last night he and other movie stars may “refuse to work unless there’s a fair representation of Negroes” in the movie industry. Speaking before about 300 persons at the Beverly Hilton at a meeting called by the arts division of the ACLU, Brando said: “They speak of prejudice in motion pictures — it is there. A studio head has said he wouldn’t advocate any story with miscegenation in it. I’ve seen people refuse to hire Negroes. We will lose 40% of the market, they say.” “This is not a Negro movement,” said Brando, “it’s a democratic movement.” Actor Charlton Heston also spoke, stating that actors, as historic “outsiders,” should join against any oppression. “The loss of money is overemphasized,” Heston said. “‘Sayonara’ did not lose money.” In the movie “Sayonara,” in which Brando starred, an American Air Force man marries a Japanese woman. Other movie and television personalities who attended the meeting included Paul Newman, Anthony Franciosa, Marsha Hunt, and Ina Balin.

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