Remembering Betty White


Emily Lukovic

Betty White, comedic actor, and star of the iconic sitcom The Golden Girls, died on December 31, 202l at the age of 99. She was only 17 days away from her 100th birthday. Although her life had come to a sad stop, her legacy on fighting for social justice in our society will remain alive. 


White was a famous ally for equality. She understood how big of a platform she had, and the importance of speaking out against discrimination. She understood how American television socialized and shaped our culture. The big voice that she had was used to openly speak against problems in our society. For example, in 1954, she had a daily TV show on NBC that had a black tap dancer named Arthur Duncan. As a result of this, the show was threatened to be taken off of the air. White responded to this threat by famously saying, “I’m sorry. Live with it” and gave Duncan more airtime. White made it clear that Duncan was staying on the show. Although the show did get canceled soon after, she used her platform in the 50’s to influence social equality, better than most people with an influence do today. 


She has also been an advocate for same-sex couples before they were given the legal right to marry. She would happily star along side gay and lesbian charaters before it was deemed acceptable. With her major influence, people would listen to her. She would call out people’s homophobia on national television, leading to a more accepting society. 


Betty White’s life had an enormous impact on every generation. She had many accomplishments in her career, like being the first woman to produce a sitcom in the U.S, winning multiple emmy awards, etc. While we mourn her loss, it is important to use her years alive as an inspiration for the next generation. She will be used as a role model for years to come.