A Documentary Film by Camilo Silva

1968 :: Eartha Kitt and the Vietnam war controversy

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in 1960's, Ambassador Blog | 0 comments

During the height of her popularity, Eartha Kitt was invited to the White House by President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson. She joined Lady Bird Johnson, along with several other prominent ladies for a discussion on the Vietnam war. Kitt became irritated when the women skirted the subject, instead, discussing on how to beautify America. When she took the floor, she said as much. “I think we have missed out on something here today, I thought the question was about the Vietnam war and why is there so much juvenile delinquency on the streets of America?” Suddenly, the First Lady rose from her seat and said, “Just because there is a war going on, I see no reason to be uncivilized.” She didn’t like Eartha’s tone which she considered uppity. The lunch was suddenly over, abruptly, without explanation. Kitt had a limousine when she came, but now, the limo was no

longer available to her. Kitt flagged down a cab. On the radio she heard, “Eartha Kitt makes the First Lady cry.” She was stunned. The reporter also stated that Kitt conducted herself like a raving mad lunatic at the White House, which was also false. Martin Luther King called and said, “We are proud of you Eartha, for speaking your mind.” Since the time was nearing for Kitt to honor a contractual agreement at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, she called her agent for the details of rehearsals. Strangely, he asked, what contract are you talking about? There is no contract, Eartha. In the meantime, due to her disagreement with Lady Bird Johnson, the President was making it obvious to all the media that she was out of favor. Meanwhile, every single one of her dates were suddenly cancelled. According to Kitt, a CIA dossier was compiled, stating: She was a sadist, a sex nymphomaniac, crude, shrewd and difficult. According to the file, President Johnson had put her out of work in America in two hours. In a 2001 interview Kitt stated, “It was a matter of, I think, weeks because after the luncheon, three weeks later I was supposed to open at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. And I called the agency to go over the contract to see that everything was so and so and so. And they said, “What contract?” And I said, “But … blah-blah-blah.” Said that you had … don’t have a contract there. And when I called the Ambassador Hotel, they … acted as though they’d never even heard of me. And I think I still have that contract somewhere in my scrapbooks. And that’s when I began to realize what is happening. Has my popularity waned? Am I … what … what did I do wrong? Have I done something wrong? And that’s when I began to realize that I wasn’t able to get work in the United States. Not because they didn’t want me as an artist, but they didn’t want the CIA or the FBI on their doorsteps. That’s why you’re out of work, without even realizing it.” Source @ “Confessions Of A Sex Kitten,” by Eartha Kitt http://archive.firstamendmentcenter.org/about.aspx?id=12429

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