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AIDS in the News 1983–1986: Journalism, Medicine, Government, and Prejudice

AIDS in the News 1983–1986: Journalism, Medicine, Government, and Prejudice

June 27, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A Screening with Television Producer Joseph Lovett

Q&A and Discussion with Susan Martin and Sally Morrison

In 1983, television producer and journalist Joseph Lovett successfully pleaded with ABC’s 20/20 executives to create the first investigative reports on AIDS for network TV. Howl! Happening and Some Serious Business are pleased to present the pioneering 20/20 segment he produced, and other selected video clips of his early reporting that highlight the responsibility and difficulties of reporting on the epidemic during a decade of discrimination. Joining Lovett for a discussion following the screening are Susan Martin and Sally Morrison, both of whom were on the frontlines with Dr. Mathilde Krim in the tumultuous early days of the AIDS crisis, helping to raise awareness and put a face to the human costs of the disease.

Clips include:

  • AIDS 1983: (5/19/83) The first in a series of investigative reports on a new epidemic. First place, Lincoln University Unity Award in Media.
  • AIDS in the Heartland: (9/26/85) As the epidemic takes hold, a young mother and her family deal with AIDS in Lafayette, Indiana. The first investigative piece on heterosexual AIDS, with Geraldo Rivera.
  • When Blood Kills: Should We Have Known?: (12/4/86) Investigative report on how the AIDS threat to the nation’s blood supply was mishandled.

Howl Happening is a member of the Stonewall 50 Consortium, and the screening is part of the Stonewall 50th anniversary celebrations.

About Joseph Lovett

Joseph Lovett is an award-winning filmmaker who produced the first investigations on AIDS for ABC’s 20/20 and worked with many major networks. As an independent producer and director, he has created various feature documentaries and over 35 hours of primetime specials. Lovett has been honored with the Peabody, the AIDS Leadership, the Christopher, the Kitty Carlisle Hart, and numerous other awards from advocacy organizations, including an Emmy nomination.

About Susan Martin

Susan Martin is the founding director of Some Serious Business and creative consultant for Howl! Happening. She was the publicist for Dr. Mathilde Krim’s AIDS Medical Foundation and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) from 1985 to 1990. On the frontlines of efforts to promote awareness, human rights, and raise funds for medical research, she was an architect of the multi-city Art Against AIDS campaign for AmFAR, launched in New York City in 1987 with Elizabeth Taylor as National Chairman.

About Sally Morrison

Sally Morrison leads marketing at Lightbox, an innovative company specializing in high quality, laboratory-grown diamond jewelry for consumers. One of the jewelry industry’s most seasoned marketers, she honed her skills through leadership positions at Miramax Films, where she served as senior vice president. She played a key role in the crucial early development of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) where she was vice president of external affairs, working closely with Elizabeth Taylor and Dr. Mathilde Krim.

About Some Serious Business: The Artist Always Come First

Some Serious Business incubates emergent expression in the arts, germinates intrepid new works and ideas, and presents diverse projects that celebrate audacity, experimentation, and social and cultural innovation. SSB supports hybrids and chimeras that traverse performance, literature, theater, dance, visual art, moving image, music, architecture and design, social practice, and the intersection of art and social history.


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