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Post image for Former Gay Bandstand Dancers Say Dick Clark Kept Them In The Closet

Former Gay Bandstand Dancers Say Dick Clark Kept Them In The Closet

by Jean Ann Esselink on January 6, 2014

in Celebrities,Jean Ann Esselink,News

In what The National Enquirer calls  a “shocker”, former dancers on the iconic TV show American Bandstand have admitted that even though a high percentage of the show’s male dancers were gay, Dick Clark kept them in the closet.

Bandstand regular Frank Brancaccio, now a 72-year-old out gay man, told the Enquirer that Clark was terrified of a viewer backlash should they discover any of the teens were gay. Another of the Bandstand teens, Eddie Kelly, backed up Brancaccio’s memory:

“It’s true.” Said Kelly. “Now it’s out and it’s good. When I went to ‘Bandstand’ in 1959, I found most of the males were gay, but that could never have gotten out to the public.”

The former Bandstanders say Clark had his staff conduct what they called “witch hunts” to discover who was gay so they could be excluded from the show. Clark’s agents would troll coffee houses and local gay hangouts looking for familiar faces. If a Bandstander was discovered, they were banished.

“Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse square was known as a meeting place for homosexuals.” Recalls Eddie Kelly. “If you were seen in the square, you couldn’t go on ‘Bandstand. So most of us really stayed away.”

bandstandBrancaccio and Kelly also accused Clark of paying lip service to integration, while behind the scenes the show gave white kids special “membership cards” to keep the number of black teens low. There was also an unwritten rule that integrated couples were not allowed.

“Clark wanted NO integration,” said Brancaccio.

Dick Clark died of a massive heart attack in April 2012 at age 82, so we’ll never know what he might say about those Bandstand days, or how he may have evolved in his later life. The Enquirer expose says: “Now it can be told.” That seems to beg the question, why couldn’t it have been told when Mr. Clark could have been asked for his comment?

Enquiring minds would really like to know.

 

Photos via Facebook

 

 

 

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{ 5 comments }

Heyim1also January 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

What kind of bullshit reporting is this ? Lets not make everyone a villain. The whole damn nation was against blacks ..gays …Jews…you name it, back then. Times change and we have to forgive those that thought that way back then. Why make such a claim about someone who is not here to defend himself? And yes… I'm gay.

davidbadash January 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

So, reporting facts is "bullshit"?

LOrion January 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Story is fine. It happened. If we had all ‘been enlightened’ it would really have been a story back then! Now it is just another revelation of how poorly open our society was at that time.
I mean come on… How many HOLLYWOOD and MUSIC types are STILL IN THE CLOSET NOW???!!

Robroberts2013 January 6, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Perhaps this explains why Dick Clark's protege Ryan Seacrest is such a pathetic little worm and a flaming, closeted gay.

PSzymeczek January 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm

<div id="idc-comment-msg-div-780897616" class="idc-message"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(780897616)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fthenewcivilrightsmovement.com%2Fformer-gay-bandstand-dancers-say-dick-clark-kept-them-in-the-closet%2Fnews%2F2014%2F01%2F06%2F81243%3Futm_source%3Dfeedburner%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3DFeed%253A%2BTheNewCivilRightsMovement%2B%2528The%2BNew%2BCivil%2BRights%2BMovement%2529%23.UsxvfbSwV8E#IDComment780897616&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Former%20Gay%20Bandstand%20Dancers%20Say%20Dick%20Clark%20Kept%20Them%20In%20The%20Closet%20%7C%20The%20New%20Civil%20Rights%20Movement&quot; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(780897616)">Close MessageI lost what respect I had left for Clark after seeing his heartless reaction to the shooting of a little girl by the 6-year-old son of one of his employees in "Bowling for Columbine." <a href="http://youtu.be/Y8BE0Gq8_Xo&quot; target="_blank"&gt <a href="http://;http://youtu.be/Y8BE0Gq8_Xo” target=”_blank”>;http://youtu.be/Y8BE0Gq8_Xo

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