Smith took to Instagram and shared a string of pictures, where he is seen having a conversation with Batiste.
Renowned TV trailblazer Norman Lear bids farewell at the age of 101, leaving behind an indelible legacy of groundbreaking television series that challenged societal norms. CBS News has confirmed the passing of Lear, who succumbed to natural causes at his Los Angeles residence on Tuesday, as stated by family spokesperson Lara Bergthold.
Lear’s illustrious career began in the post-war era, where he carved a niche for himself as a writer for both radio and television. However, it was in the 1970s that he truly left an indelible mark, introducing a series of hit shows that not only captivated audiences but also shattered taboos in broadcast entertainment, helping to shape the cultural landscape of a generation.
Among his most influential creations was “All in the Family,” which made its debut on CBS in 1971. The show starred Carroll O’Connor as the outspoken, working-class figurehead, Archie Bunker, whose narrow-minded views clashed with the evolving social fabric. Archie’s confrontations with his liberal son-in-law, Michael (played by Rob Reiner), became emblematic of the societal tensions of the time. Jean Stapleton portrayed Archie’s compassionate wife, Edith, who attempted to maintain harmony within the family.
In a poignant tribute, President Biden acknowledged Lear’s transformative impact on American culture. Describing him as a “trailblazing force,” Biden emphasized Lear’s courage, conscience, and humor that redefined television. Lear’s shows fearlessly addressed an array of societal issues, including racism, class disparities, divorce, and abortion, as well as more nuanced topics like menopause, homosexuality, and religion.
Biden highlighted Lear’s unwavering commitment to tackling tough subjects, capturing the inherent grace and dignity in people’s lives. Throughout decades of political advocacy, Norman Lear championed causes such as free speech, a woman’s right to choose, environmental concerns, and voting rights.
Norman Lear’s departure marks the end of an era, but his pioneering spirit and contributions to television will undoubtedly endure, continuing to inspire future storytellers and creators to explore the uncharted territories of societal discourse with courage, conscience, and humor.