‘All in The Family’ Writer Norman Lear Gives His Best Career Advice: ‘Make Sure You Listen’

by Joe Rutland

If the name Norman Lear doesn’t sound familiar to you, then just think about “All In The Family” and that’s a good place to start.

You see, Lear was and still is a powerhouse in the entertainment industry. His shows like “All In The Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “One Day At A Time,” and “Maude” drew millions of viewers for decades. He listened to what was going on at the times these programs first aired.

Now the 99-year-old Lear is preparing to receive the Carol Burnett Award from the Golden Globes Awards this Sunday.

There is so much to dissect about Lear’s career and why he brought so many so-called taboo subjects into his programming. One thing he says helped him a lot is the importance of truly listening in an interview with Variety.

Norman Lear Emphasizes Listening In Midst of Naysayers

“If you love it, you feel like they’ll love it, an audience will love it, so go with your conviction,” Lear said. “Don’t let anybody talk you out of it. But listen, make sure you listen.

“Because you may find a way to make what you think is wonderful even better, or something more important to you will occur,” he said. “Go with your conviction — but listen.”

Also, Lear said his best advice remains pretty simple: stick with your passion. He said to do so even as naysayers swirl around like sharks.

Lear Ready To Receive Carol Burnett Award For His Work

Lear, as mentioned earlier, will receive the Carol Burnett Award this coming Sunday night.

The Carol Burnett Award is for an individual “who has made outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.” Past recipients have been Ellen DeGeneres and Burnett herself. Now Lear also is a six-time Emmy Award winner.

Lear has been a writer, director, and producer. He’s helped bring a larger sense of diversity to TV sets all over America.

“His career has encompassed both the Golden Age and Streaming Era, throughout which his progressive approach addressing controversial topics through humor prompted a cultural shift that allowed social and political issues to be reflected in television,” HFPA president Ali Sar said of Lear’s legacy, according to AP News.

Beyond racial issues and diversity, Lear has taken it upon himself to allow his shows to highlight other key issues. These include war, sexuality, abortion, sexism, rape, bigotry, and even poverty. 

Lear continues working today, just wrapping up a new version of “One Day At A Time” and also putting together a documentary on actress Rita Moreno. It looks like he’s not slowing down anytime soon, even at 99 years young.