America's Lost Innocence - Sponsored By . . .
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 96 16:03:23 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: America's Lost Innocence - Sponsored By . . .
The 1994 movie "Quiz Show" took a swipe at TV sponsor Geritol for pressuring
producers to make the game show "21" more exciting - which led to feeding
contestants the answers to questions. But "21" was not the first TV show to
rig questions - a show called "The $64,000 Question" has that dubious
distinction. The sponsor of "The $64,000 Question" also came under fire for
pressuring producers to make the questions more exciting and cut contestants
that it didn't like.
Who was that sponsor?
Answer: Revlon Inc.
Charles and Martin Revson, owners of Revlon, were the sponsors of the first
game show to rig questions. The two denied any involvement with or knowledge
of rigging questions, although some critics have said that Martin Revson's
constant contact with "$64,000 Question" producers and his heavy involvment
in decision-making about contestants would make it hard for him not to have
had such knowledge.
One of the more notorious anecdotes from "The $64,000 Question" comes from
former contestant Dr. Joyce Brothers, who described how Charles Revson
demanded that she be kicked off the show because she wasn't wearing makeup.
Producers devised a brutal test of questions to try to knock Brothers out
- but she answered them all correctly.
And it seems Revlon's makeup demands have persisted through history.
According to a 1990 Ms. article by former editor Gloria Steineim, Revlon
refused to become a Ms. advertiser because one issue featured Soviet women
on the cover who weren't wearing makeup.
© 1996 Peter Langston