Ethics Hero Emeritus: Lena Horne, 1917-2010

When actress Hattie McDaniel, the imposing African-American actress who played “Mammy” in the film “Gone With the Wind,” was criticized for her willingness to accept stereotypical and often degrading roles, she countered, “I’d rather play a maid and make $700 a week than be one for $7.”  Not Lena Horne.  Breaking into the movie business as a dynamic and glamorous singer-actress in 1942, she insisted on a long-term contract with MGM that specified that she would never have to play a maid. Continue reading