The Gatekeeper: My Thirty Years as a TV Censor
Syracuse University Press
By Alfred R. Schneider
January 1, 2001
The former chief censor for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) chronicles the battles, controversies, and changes in taste and acceptance of network entertainment programs of three decades. From 1960 to 1990, Alfred R. Schneider served as head of standards and practices, or "chief censors, for the ABC television network. From his unique vantage point, Schneider managed issues of taste and morality that determined what millions of U.S. viewers watched. During his tenure the nation's attitudes changed drastically, as did the content shown on American airwaves. Controversies arose about TV's influence on children, its portrayal of violence, and its introduction of once taboo subjects. Schneider fought on the shifting, subjective front lines of the cultural battle-front; even as his own standards evolved, he embraced emerging trends.