This Hollywood Witch Hunt Created a Celebrity Blacklist
Hollywood’s Witch Hunt Created a Communist Blacklist for these Celebrities

Hollywood’s Witch Hunt Created a Communist Blacklist for these Celebrities

Larry Holzwarth - May 2, 2021

Hollywood’s Witch Hunt Created a Communist Blacklist for these Celebrities
Singer, actor, and athlete Paul Robeson told the HUAC they were the real threat to American freedom. Wikimedia

21. Some of Hollywood’s most famous performers and creative artists appeared on the blacklist

Besides those already noted, many noted names of screen and literature were blacklisted, with a detrimental effect on their reputations and careers. Dashiell Hammett, creator of Sam Spade and the Thin Man, appeared on the blacklist. So did writer Lillian Hellmann. Eddie Albert, who gained widespread fame as Oliver Douglas in the rural sitcom Green Acres did so after recovering from years on the blacklist. Blacklisted, Charles Chaplin was refused a visa to return to the United States after a trip to Europe and spent the rest of his life in exile in Switzerland. The noted animator Bill Melendez, a former Disney employee and later responsible for bringing Peanuts to television, spent years on the blacklist.

The Hollywood Blacklist both denied people the right to work in their chosen profession, and drove the careers of many who exploited it. Hedda Hopper used the fear of the blacklist to blackmail studio executives and crush celebrities of whom she disapproved. Politicians labeled those suspected of communist leanings as agents of the Soviets, reporting directly to Moscow. Investigations by the FBI, the NSA, HUAC, and other agencies both in federal and state governments never produced any evidence of such a relationship. American singer and actor Paul Robeson appeared before the HUAC in 1956, and subsequently was blacklisted for many years. During his testimony, Robeson told the committee, “You are the non-patriots, you are the un-Americans, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves”. The House of Representatives finally disbanded the HUAC in 1975.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“The Un-Americans”. Frank J. Donner. 1967

“Ex-Rep Martin Dies, 71, Is Dead; Led Un-American Activities Unit”. Obituary, The New York Times. November 15, 1972

“The cruel reality of Disney’s world”. Paul Harris, The Observer. November 26, 2006

“Walt Disney, Ronald Reagan, and the Fear of Hollywood Communism”. Jennifer Latson, TIME Magazine. October 20, 2014

“Statement of the Committee for the First Amendment”. National Archives. October 21, 1947. Online

“Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before the House Un-American Affairs Committee”. Josh Jones, Open Culture. November 12, 2012. Online

“The Hollywood Brass Who Endorsed the Blacklist”. Gary Baum, Daniel Miller, The Hollywood Reporter. November 19, 2012.

“J. Parnell Thomas, Anti-Red Crusader, is Dead”. Robert D. McFadden, The New York Times. November 19, 1970.

“Dalton Trumbo”. Article, Biography. Internet Archive. June 18, 2015

“‘We Ask You Not to Condone This’: How the Blacklist Saved Hollywood”. Jon Lewis, Cinema Journal. Winter, 2000

“Reliving the Scare: Looking Back On ‘Red Channels'”. John McDonough, All Things Considered, NPR. June 22, 2010

“Hollywood and Anti-Communism: HUAC and the Evolution of the Red Menace 1935-1950”. John Gladchuk. 2006

“Hedda Hopper: the woman who scared Hollywood”. Article. The Telegraph. Online

“I’m No Communist”. Humphrey Bogart, Photoplay Magazine. May, 1948

“No Sense of Decency: The Army – McCarthy Hearings”. Robert Shogan. 2009

“Kirk Douglas helped end the Hollywood blacklist, but he wasn’t alone”. Phil Helsel, NBC News. February 5, 2020

“Hollywood gladiator Kirk Douglas has his eyes set on a third bar mitzvah”. Barbara Paskin, Jewish Chronicle. September 20, 2012

“Spartacus: The anti-slave film that helped free cinema”. Peter Howell, Toronto Star. August 11, 2011