'Mad Men': Fifth season brings their 1st official black employee

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The fifth season of Mad Men has introduced Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s first African-American employee. The character Dawn Chambers (played by Teyonnah Parris) is Don Draper’s secretary. This is a big change of pace for a show that has focused almost exclusively on white characters’ live in the 1960s. The Los Angeles Times reports:

The fifth season of “Mad Men” brought the dawn of a new day. And one result was the introduction of the latest female in Don Draper’s life: Dawn Chambers, his new secretary and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s first African American employee.

When viewers rejoined the 1960s-set drama after a 17-month hiatus, they were briefed on the racial tensions that spawned riots and protests during the period the series is set in. After jokingly advertising itself as an equal opportunity employer in an attempt to poke fun at one of their competitor’s woes, SCDP ended up hiring its first African American employee, played by Teyonnah Parris.

We spoke to Parris about joining the show, her relationship with Peggy and just how stingy Matt Weiner can be with details about the show.

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