Living… in America, a country that's going down the tubes in front of his very eyes, though nobody wants to admit it but Howard.
Profession… TV's "Mad Prophet of the Airwaves.” Howard was an anchor for the Union Broadcasting System’s evening news, until he went mad on live television after finding out his the guys upstairs are cancelling his lowly rated show. But the audience loved his meltdown, so UBS gives him his own show, The Howard Beale Show. Now he preaches civil disobedience and discontent to his captivated American audience.
Relationship Status… widowed. After Howard’s wife died, a voice came to him in the night. And the voice told him his mission was to spread the unfiltered, impermanent, transient, human truth. His only love now is for the truth. He doesn’t expect people to be capable of truth. But at least he can teach them the values of self-preservation.
Challenge… saving individuality from its certain death. As he puts it, “It's the individual that's finished. It's the single, solitary human being who's finished. It's every single one of you out there who's finished. Because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. This is a nation of two hundred odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-than-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods.”
Personality… unstable, and probably a little psychotic. But Howard insists he’s not losing his mind. It’s a “moment of clarity” for him. He feels he’s been “imbued with a special spirit.” It’s not a religious feeling he’s after. He feels like he’s connected to the great life force of the world. And now he’s trying to imbue that in his audience by preaching his tagline, “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore!”
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