Using program content, industry contextualization, and archival materials, this article analyzes The Gypsy Rose Lee Show (ABC, 1965–68) in terms of its complex relationship to labor and the consequences of labor practices for television workers. Hosted by famed performer Gypsy Rose Lee, this syndicated program utilized the celebrity and performance skills of its host and guests to both express and mask the labors required of television production. While the feminized and queer qualities of such labors created progressive performances around marginalized workers and invisible work, in some aspects the show acceded to the economic demands of capital against the rights of labor. Lee as a television celebrity and worker thus warrants consideration for her contributions to a transitional moment in American culture and television history.
From Stripping on Broadway to Knitting on TV: Gypsy Rose Lee's Adaptable Labors
Jennifer S. Clark is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. She is currently working on a book about the relationship between women's liberation and television production in the 1970s. Her most recent scholarship, on materiality and representation in Queen Elizabeth II's televised coronation, has been published in the Journal of e-Media Studies.
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Jennifer S. Clark; From Stripping on Broadway to Knitting on TV: Gypsy Rose Lee's Adaptable Labors. Feminist Media Histories 1 October 2016; 2 (4): 143–168. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2016.2.4.143
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