The story, it seems, is another. In the end, what brought down the Soviet Union was not international pressure, not the Chernobyl disaster, not poverty, not human rights violations. It was the series Dallas. Or at least that’s what Mikhail Gorbachev, its last president, believes. The data was provided by the musician David Stewart, a member of Eurythmics, who had a conversation with the Russian leader a few years ago, in which the surprising revelation occurred.
“He told me that half an hour of show had more effect than anything else,” Stewart said in an interview for singer Joss Stone’s podcast, A Cuppa Happy.
“The Russians thought that’s how people lived in the United States”added Stewart, referring to the ostentatious lifestyle shown by the series, which, according to him, would largely explain “the passion for waste” of many of Russia’s nouveau riche.
In Stewart’s words, Gorbachev explained to him that “someone managed to introduce VHS tapes of the series in the USSR, and illegally retransmitted them to much of the country”, generating a clandestine cult for Dallas and its characters, with the unforgettable JR (Larry Hagman) at the helm.
Larry Hagman (JR), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen), Patrick Duffy (Bobby) and Brenda Strong, who joined the series as Bobby’s second wife.
Stewart also recounted that the 89-year-old former president thinks pop music had some influence on the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to what he told him in that conversation, antennas had been installed in churches throughout the country that prevented the broadcast of any content that could be considered subversive. But people destroyed them to be able to listen to music by groups like the Beatles.
“My friends would lie down to listen to these groups and cry because they had never heard anything like this,” acknowledged Gorbachev.
It is not the first time that the name of Eurythmics has been related to that of Gorbachev. In 2009, the singer of the group, Annie Lennox, was chosen “Woman of Peace 2009” for her commitment in the fight against AIDS in South Africa, in an act of the tenth summit of laureates with the Nobel Peace Prize, among whom was Gorbachev.
Annie Lennox y Dave Stewart, de Eurythmics.
In 2017, a group of celebrities from the entertainment world, including Lennox, joined in a campaign to demand the British parliamentary left to stand firm in its opposition to the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons program.
The campaign was supported by the former president, who claimed that the plan contradicted the spirit of the accords that helped end the cold war.
Dallas It was created by David Jacobs and aired from 1978 to 1991 on CBS.
It recounted the turbulent relationships of the Ewings, a multimillionaire, powerful and highly influential family in the state of Texas.
His main income came from oil, through the family business Ewing Oil. They were also dedicated to livestock.
Gorbachev had a talk with Stewart.
The central role of the series was played by Larry Hagman, at the time an actor in his fifties, the son of the theatrical star Mary Martin.
His only success had been obtained in the ’60s with the series I dream of Jeannie.
On Dallas, Hagman became the most popular and highest paid actor in the history of American TV. The person who convinced him to accept the role of John Ross II, JR Ewing, an adulterous and unscrupulous man, was precisely his wife Maj.
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Dallas was the series that destroyed the Soviet Union