Why ‘Norma Rae’ wasn’t ‘Crystal Lee’

“Because of legal difficulties, [director Martin] Ritt later promoted the movie as ‘a fictionalized composite of several such women who became militantly involved in trying to unionize Southern textile mills.’ Norma Rae would have been called Crystal Lee; the mill worker’s resistance forced the adoption of a fictional name. By holding out beyond a point of a workable compromise, Crystal Lee [Sutton] lost her best opportunity to gain national fame from her personal story.”

— From “History by Hollywood”  by Robert Toplin (2009)

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