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Impact of ‘All in the Family’ still felt

"All in the Family" cast members, from left: Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers, Jean Stapleton, and Carroll O'Connor.
"All in the Family" cast members, from left: Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers, Jean Stapleton, and Carroll O'Connor.REUTERS

Norman Lear did the culture no favors

Re “Those were (still are) the days” (Page A1, Jan. 10): Another article glorifying that TV show from the 1970s that featured the misogynistic, racist, and hateful ravings of a head of household? More opinions from college professors and others about how timely and important “All in the Family” was?

Either Norman Lear and those around him knew exactly what they were doing or they were hopelessly naive. They made a ton of money from playing to the worst aspects of our country.

Sure, Edith, Gloria, and Meathead had some lines in the script, but it was Archie’s quotes and attitudes that millions of Americans took with them to work the next day. It was the things Archie Bunker said, and did, that I heard quoted and saw in some of my students at the high school in Cambridge where I taught.


Millions of Americans saw Archie as hilarious, not hateful. Sadly, millions still do. I said back then, and I still believe today, that Lear should be ashamed of himself.

Andrew Inglis


The writer taught at what is now Cambridge Rindge and Latin School from 1970 to 2004.

Meathead was no ‘snowflake’

As a man who watched and loved the very first episode of “All in the Family” and nearly all of the ones that followed, I enjoyed David M. Shribman’s remembrance of the show.

However, I do take exception to the statement he quotes from Martin Kaplan, Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism: “Today, Meathead would be dissed as a snowflake for pushing back against Archie’s racism, sexism, and homophobia.“ Wrong. A snowflake would cry and retreat to a “safe place” whenever Archie said something offensive. The best part of the show was the way the Michael character always stood tall for his ideas and often put Archie firmly in his place.


Robert MacDougall