Revisiting Willowbrook 50 years later with reporter Geraldo Rivera

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, April 1, 2022
'Willowbrook: 50 Years Later With Geraldo Rivera'
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'Willowbrook: 50 Years Later with Geraldo Rivera,' goes behind the story that uncovered the horrible living conditions of disabled children and adults at a facility on Staten Island.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's been 50 years since the WABC-TV documentary that blew the cover off of the horrible living conditions of disabled children and adults at a facility on Staten Island called Willowbrook.

The film, with then Eyewitness News reporter Geraldo Rivera, was one of the first exposes on local television.

Rivera broke the stories, after doctors, disgusted by what they were seeing at Willowbrook, let him in -- to tell the world what was really going on behind closed doors.

It uncovered an institution -- a wretched and filthy place -- covered in inhumanity.

As a result of its airing on WABC-TV, the manner of treating people with disabilities was forever changed.

Fifty years later, Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter sat down with Rivera to revisit the groundbreaking story.

You can watch the special 'Willowbrook: 50 Years Later With Geraldo Rivera,' right here and on your television set on demand, whenever you want. Just make sure you add the ABC7NY app to streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.

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