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Four Senators Decline Race Discussion with Marlon Brando

Apr. 9, 1963 - Four U.S. Senators from the South declined to enter a television discussion with actor Marlon Brando on the subject of race relations. This was revealed today as Mr. Brando was preparing to visit the studios of New York station WNEW-TV for the taping of a telecast in David Susskind’s “Open End” series. In proposing the discussion, Mr. Brando suggested to the producer a list of Senators, seeking to have one of them join him on the program. The Susskind office relayed the request via telephone to Democratic Senators James O. Eastland of Mississippi, Allen J. Ellender and Russell B. Long of Louisiana, and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Negative replies came from all four men. Senator Herman E. Talmadge (D-Ga.) was also telephoned but did not reply at all. Mr. Susskind said he thought the proposed discussion “would have been interesting.” He described Mr. Brando as a bright, widely traveled, “politically oriented kind of fellow.”


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