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producer: Martin Berman
correspondent: Geraldo Rivera
executive producer: Albert T. Primo

The Last Great Disgrace

28 minutes / documentary / 1972 / USA

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Focusing on an institution located in Staten Island, NY, this film was one of the first exposés ever done on local television. As a result of this program airing on WABC-TV, the manner of treating people with disabilities was forever changed.

As the producers were putting the documentary together, they located a piece of film shot 10 years earlier of Robert F. Kennedy after he completed a tour of Willowbrook. He said, "Willowbrook was a disgrace." Despite Kennedy's anger and compassion, nothing was done about it.

Geraldo Rivera, the film's correspondent, is quoted, "I can show you what it looked like and what it sounded like, but I can never show you how it smelled and the horrible conditions."

The film won the 1972 Peabody Award.

Albert T. Primo - executive producer
Al led the news team at WABC-TV that forever changed treatment for people with mental retardation with his Peabody Award winning series with Mr. Rivera, "Willowbrook: The Last Great Disgrace."
He also created the Eyewitness News format which revolutionized broadcast journalism. He has been on the leading edge of television, developing regional news formats for cable television and building an independent production company, which provides programming for networks, television stations and cable systems.