The Hollywood Blacklist

Essay by jullieUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2014

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Surname � PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT �4�






The Hollywood Blacklist refers to a list of American professional entertainers disallowed from participating in the entertainment industry. Actors, musicians, screenwriters, producers and directors were banned from working due to their supposed association or sympathizing with the American Communist Party. Other causes for the banning included engagement in political actions linked with communism, and failure to help in investigating the Communist Party activities.

"The Hollywood Blacklist"

The blacklist arose from the 1940s anticommunists pursue targeting several high-ranking Hollywood professionals (Rose 401). In 1947, The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) started to convene some of these professionals following allegations that their productions were communist-motivated (Rose 401). HUAC formed by congress in 1937, was a committee involved in the investigation of radical groups like the Communist Party (Rose 400). Following the end of the Second World War, as anxiety heightened with the Soviet Union, HUAC progressed with its investigations on both actual and anticipated domestic communists (Rose 401).

The committee relied on a list published in the Hollywood Reporter, to summon Hollywood executives and filmmakers to testify during hearings (Rose 403). The hearings were aimed at determining if communist representatives were accountable for encouraging propaganda in American movies. Ten of the summoned executives, commonly referred to as the "Hollywood ten", declined to testify claiming that the first and fifth constitutional amendments substantiated their freedom of speech (Rose 437). HUAC disapproved the argument concerning the ten professionals' sovereignty, resulting in their arrest. Consequently, the ten were sacked or suspended from involvement in film production. In addition, they did not receive remuneration and could only be re-employed following clearance of contempt charges, and public declaration that they did not support communism (Rose 437-438).

The arrests did not proof that the professionals...