The Real Legend Behind 'Anchorman': The Movie Satires Discrimination in the 1970s Newsroom

A new exhibit at the Newseum celebrates the movie and tells the real stories that inspired it.
3:00 | 12/16/13

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Transcript for The Real Legend Behind 'Anchorman': The Movie Satires Discrimination in the 1970s Newsroom
Welcome to power play time ABC news senior national correspondent. Jamaat and I have the honor today and sitting on a replica of being Ron Burgundy newscast for channel -- in San Diego. It's part of an exhibit at the newseum in Washington DC that celebrates the new anchorman movie. I'm going to do what god put Ron Burgundy on this earth to do. Have salon quality Harry Reid. So we look at the movie. All of that is right for comedy hasn't at that and and even before we get to the serious social issues all of that team building. Really looks -- and and funny when it's exaggerated appointment -- You stay classy -- The anchorman movie is this incredible -- and the way a satire is really successful and really has legs. And -- you know deep laughs not just the occasional chuckle is that it's got its roots in reality and that there are things. In the movies like this that you can readily make fun and comprehend and to have left herself alongside laughing at Ron Burgundy. You're just a woman with a small brain. But the -- a third the size of us. It's science the rise of women in the news right Ron Burgundy found that. Astonishing. Objectionable. I worked with people like -- -- was -- you're exhibit here at a real anchor persons with Detroit Chicago. Mark Jessica. Who really did objected. To women being sitting next to it. That is where. Will Ferrell and his creative -- sort of got the inspiration for the movie in the first place. They were watching an actual documentary about Jessica savitch Horton -- are next with a 6 o'clock reports. And were struck by. Not just her story but. The just overt and over the top. Sexism. That her male. Co anchors counter parts. Were willing lead disgusting and they thought well we can you know have a little fun with -- and a poke some holes through the idea that -- these guys had but tell it from the guys' standpoint. They don't belong in a news room. This news anchor and not and he -- mascot -- to get back back. When I worked in local news is a very young person when I was in my twenties. There were these objections. Voiced openly that women's voices were too high they were irritating. There are other things -- than they were specific reasons why they were not gonna have incidentally anchored. There is the idea that a woman's voice was not authoritative enough to deliver the news the Washington public power supply system. Fired 81 workers and it -- upside today there was Abbas who said. I think that. That you should -- -- my office and he drew the blinds closed the door and you opened this -- against or pulled out of bottle whiskey that your voice to sound better if you drink death. Or if you smoke backed. I didn't. -- -- instead the man's world and so those sorts of things really happen. Anti immigrant -- -- in Los Angeles and some of the first -- were whether quote whether girls that's how they sort of broke in. Right the initial foray is into giving -- go go boots and miniskirts. Very true and and sort of alarming to think back to that and think that that was -- be. You know an acceptable we'll make that concession -- -- will be all right you know that'll be okay but that's of course didn't stop to change. But now with progressed to a point where it's almost cut in local news -- So that the model and now is man and woman together. I think anchor desk has been you know fully transformed and it is very much a spot where a man and a woman -- -- there are now two women. Anchoring the news -- for PBS's nightly national news cast. Of course and Ron Burgundy is world which -- see -- the fictional San Diego. In night I suppose it's the seventies and the way he dresses with a moustache and long hair and blue. I mean Hillary it is that was all white male at that time absolutely -- any sort of mocking. Has the progression as far as minorities been as fast as we women we see in in -- exhibit. Geraldo Rivera is. On the actual desk not -- one of the main anchors but but one of the people scene in the opening and in the commercials he sort of broke through at the at the local level. Right there has been progress and I would say that you know what was interesting to me when we -- working through this exhibit is how often there was an impulse in the seventies. Back to include a black woman as part of -- anchor team that's part of the news team because it's sort of got at two avenues. Woman and racial diversity which is very interesting but I think that. Things have continued to -- side from that point forward. And hopefully they'll also understand how much fun it was to be a part of local news in the seventies because. I do miss that everything except for the mustache and it was a great time thank you very much thank you thanks for joining us on power players for Yahoo! and ABC news I'm -- Follow me on Twitter -- Jim -- ABC. And in the words of Ron Burgundy. -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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