On 'Mad Men,' an Opening Scene Straight From Page 1





The opening scenes of the Season 5 premiere of “Mad Men,” set in 1966, depicted a sort of knucklehead-racism at work, when young men from the advertising agency Young & Rubicam dropped bags filled with water on protesters picketing on the Madison Avenue sidewalk below. Wet and angry, several protesters came upstairs to demand to know who at the firm had dropped the water bombs.

One protester said in disgust, “And they call us savages.”

Some critics found the scene, broadcast on Sunday, a bit too on-the-nose. “It’s a terrible line that should have been red-penciled,” wrote Matt Zoller Seitz for New York magazine. Mike Hale of The New York Times called it “unfortunately ham-handed.”

But no writer is to blame.

Everything in the scene really happened, written almost verbatim from an article on Page 1 of The Times on May 28, 1966....



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