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Mr. Rogers: Children's Show Host, Woke AF

Mr. Rogers: Children's Show Host, Woke AF

Mr. Rogers: Children's Show Host, Woke AF

Look back on the icon ahead of the new documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor

"If you take the elements that make good television and do the opposite, that's Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," says producer Margy Whitmer in Won't You Be My Neighbor, a documentary by Morgan Neville (out June 8) that tracks Fred Rogers through half a century on TV.

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Despair over the medium's untapped potential to "help children through the difficult modulations of life" led the minister and composer to the small screen in the 1950s, where he talked to kids about real-life issues like divorce and death. And with the aid of music, puppets, and a closet full of cardigans, he also preached acceptance. Gay black actor Francois Clemmons's character Officer Clemmons was a conduit for exploring civil rights -- in 1969, when swimming pools were segregated, Rogers invited him to share a footbath onscreen. It's a strange, slightly homoerotic scene, but damn if it isn't one of the most touching things you'll see this summer.

Watch the trailer for the new documentary below, and catch it in theatres this weekend.

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